Toronto Raptors: The biggest surprises so far in 2019-20

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Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors – Terence Davis (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Terence Davis is the real deal

If there ever was a case to be made for letting Fred VanVleet walk in free agency, Terence Davis would feature prominently in the argument.

Davis, like VanVleet, never got to hear his name called on draft night. Passed on by the entire league, Davis eventually signed with the Toronto Raptors in the summer and wasted little time making waves. Team officials, beat reporters, frankly, anybody who watched the rookie in action could see just how special Davis was.

Fans remember how tight Nick Nurse’s rotation was at the beginning of the year, with Nurse initially hesitant to go beyond eight or nine players on a given night. Injuries forced the coach to alter course and before long, Nurse was relying on his unproven assets to carry heavy loads.

In the case of Davis, the rookie has stayed ready all year long, despite sporadic usage, and continues to impress on both ends of the floor. Most will point to Davis’ shot as his most attractive feature, however, he’s also no slouch on defence. Furthermore, Davis is a phenomenal rebounder for his size and also does an excellent job cutting and opening up passing lanes on offence. Davis’ game is wise beyond its years.

The loss of Danny Green, while unfortunate, was to be expected after news broke of Kawhi choosing home, and not Toronto. Replacing the veteran guard’s minutes and production was always going to be a challenge, but most figured the likes of Norm Powell and Fred VanVleet would be enough.

Very few people saw Davis playing such a prominent role, though.

The Raptors’ scouting staff deserves a ton of credit for its role in the discovery of Davis. To think every team passed on him on draft night is a wild concept to wrap your head around after seeing how gifted Davis is at this stage of his career.

Toronto should consider itself lucky, as Davis’ warp-speed ascension has to be one of this season’s biggest surprises to date. There are more than a few general managers kicking themselves for missing out on this rising star.

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