Most Surprising: Dalano Banton
The Rexdale native was viewed as a bit of a project coming out of Nebraska, as his offensive game looked unpolished against Big Ten defenders. While he didn’t turn into prime Vince Carter, Banton looked like he could contribute in some meaningful fashion in 2021 due to his switchability on the defensive end.
Banton came into Saturday’s game against Charlotte averaging two blocks per game and just under two steals per game. Keep in mind that a lot of his production has come on the perimeter, making the lanky Canadian one of the better defensive players we saw in Vegas.
Dalano Banton’s defense could help the Raptors.
Banton has made a compelling case for immediate time in the rotation, perhaps around five to six per game. His defense appears to be well ahead of where even Toronto expected it would be, and he could get some time to work out the kinks on the offensive side.
While Banton signed a standard two-way deal, David Johnson, who was selected one pick after him, was signed to a two-way deal. It’s clear who the organization values more at this juncture. Between Banton, Johnson, and Justin Champagnie, the 2021 draftees and pickups have been playing very well.