Toronto Raptors: Best and Worst case scenarios for 2021 rookies

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 15: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 15: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Dalano Banton, Toronto Raptors
Dalano Banton, the first truly homegrown Raptor (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Dalano Banton

2nd round, No. 46 overall

Heading into the franchise’s 27th season, the Raptors have finally drafted a Canadian. Of course, Banton’s regional ties run far more local than mere national borders. The 6-9 point forward grew up in Toronto’s Rexdale neighborhood, less than 30 minutes from his new home arena.

However, a cool local story only lasts so long before the draftee needs to show that he can actually play.

Best Case Scenario

If everything breaks right for Banton, his unique game could add a new dimension to the club. I mean, how many 6-9 traditional point guards do you see in the league right now? On a largely position-less roster where flexibility and fluidity reign, it’s easy to see the appeal of a guy who can slot into just about any position on the floor.

Even as a best-case scenario, let’s not pretend Toronto just found the next LeBron or Magic. But even a simply capable point forward is a rare enough breed to force defenses to adapt and generally be disruptive. As part of a potential new-look bench unit, there are plenty of reasons for optimism that Banton can be a factor, even as a rookie second-rounder.

Worst Case Scenario

I mean, there’s a reason why Banton was still available at No. 46, right? Unique measurements and skill set aside, the former Nebraska Cornhusker is unquestionably a project.

Like Barnes, shooting stands as a glaring weakness, serving as the foundation of an overall offensive game that needs work. Unselfish to a fault, he needs to play with more of an attack-oriented mindset and be a more efficient shooter.

Can Toronto Raptors rookie Dalano Banton develop a jump shot?

That sounds easy enough, but it may just not be part of Banton’s makeup. Taking a flyer on a high-potential project in the middle of the second round might be a sensible risk-reward play, but it also brings a strong likelihood of not producing a quality NBA player.

The Raps got next to nothing out of Dewan Hernandez, so Banton could be another in a long line of wasted second-rounders.