At the 2021 NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors added another first to their history book by selecting Rexdale’s Dalano Banton in the second round. It was the first time in franchise history that the Raptors ever drafted a Canadian. Along with Scarborough’s Isiaha Mike, the Raptors have a strong local presence on the Summer League roster.
In the pandemic interrupted 2020 NBA season that got delayed, pushing the Draft into mid-November, the Raptors had a previous opportunity to draft Mike after his career at SMU.
There was even a pre-draft interview in 2020 in which Mike was quoted talking up the franchise’s ability to develop prospects.
"“To actually be in contact with them was amazing…Seeing their resume and seeing how Pascal [Siakam] has developed tremendously on his way to becoming a superstar. You have guys like Fred VanVleet, you have OG [Anunoby]…the guys that came from that G-League team have put in the work and made a name for themselves.”"
Mike’s hopes of joining the Toronto Raptors were dashed when the organization selected Jalen Harris with their second-round pick in 2020. However, after a strong season overseasons, Mike has made it to Vegas. Is there a chance he sticks around in the G League?
Mike had protected his future if he went undrafted by signing a contract with Niners Chemnitz of the Geman Bundesliga for the 2020/21 season. Fast forward nine months later, Mike is a Raptor, at least temporarily, with a chance to make it a more permanent role with the franchise.
However, the certainty of his inclusion on the Raptors 905 may not be imminent, much less a spot on the main roster.
Who is Toronto Raptors forward Isiaha Mike?
The Toronto native redshirted after one year with Duquense, transferring to SMU for his final two seasons. Mike averaged 12.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game with the Mustangs.
He raised his three-point shooting average each season in college, ending his collegiate career with a 36.1% average. He is a versatile defender at 6-8, which makes him very attractive to the Raptors, as he fits a player-type this team has been drafting and signing in recent years.
Coming out of college, Mike was known as a good, but streaky shooter best employed as a catch-and-shoot floor spacer. While he wasn’t considered to have an explosive first step, his ability to score on the move or off the dribble was notable.
He was also considered a solid rebounder and premium athlete. However, while expected to be a three-and-D guy, some of his weaknesses were centered around his inconsistency on offense.
Mike’s professional career so far.
Mike was inserted into the Chemnitz starting lineup this season. He played in 33 games for the Bundesliga team averaging 10.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. His three-point average was 31.6%.
This summer, he has joined the Raptors Summer League team on a tryout basis. So far, after three games, Mike has seen only a handful of minutes on the floor, going 0-1 shooting vs. the Houston Rockets Thursday night.
With one more contest vs. the Charlotte Hornets Saturday, the Raptors are 2-1 in the won/loss column to this point. Will Mike get significantly more playing time?
With such a short schedule to the NBA Summer League (two weeks) and a lack of playing time to showcase his abilities, this becomes a wait-and-see if the Raptors assign him to the 905.
In the meantime, on July 3, Mike resigned with Chemnitz for the 2021-22 season. His financial commitment to Chemnitz may be more profitable than a spot on the Raptors’ G-League affiliate.
Mike’s dream of playing in the NBA may have to wait at least another season while developing his game. It won’t be shocking at all if Mike is given a shot next year or after with the Raptors. At his best, Mike is the prototypical player type that Raptors’ management can’t pass on.