4 Raptors 905 names that Toronto fans should remember

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 11: David Johnson #13 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 11: David Johnson #13 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
Justin Champagnie, Toronto Raptors
Oct 4, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Justin Champagnie (11) Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

In a similarly nice, round number to the Toronto Raptors‘ 600 days away from Scotiabank Arena between their final, pre-pandemic home game and home-opening return to Toronto this season, Raptors 905 returns to the Paramount Fine Foods Centre on Thursday for the first time in 610 days.

While they were gone, Toronto’s G League affiliate made the most of their Disney World bubble experience, finishing atop the league standings over the 15-game regular season with a 12-3 mark and even eliminating the much-hyped G League Unite team before falling to the Delaware Blue Coats in the semifinals.

As is often the case in the G League, heavy roster turnover leaves former Mississippi guard Breein Tyree and Kevon Harris as some of the few returnees. Jawun Evans is also back for a second stint after playing in Greece last year.

That said, reigning Executive of the Year Chad Sanders has found some intriguing talent while hitting the reset button. This team should be near the top of the G League standings this season.

Instead of going through everyone, we’re going to focus on the four players that could eventually find their way to the NBA club’s available 15th roster spot and maybe even add to the collection of youth making an impact in Toronto.

Raptors fans, here are four names you might want to get to know. With a few lucky breaks, one of these players could easily end up seeing some time with the NBA team throughout the season.

4 Raptors 905 players that Toronto Raptors fans should know.

Justin Champagnie

Given the potential showcased by former Pitt star during the NBA preseason, it’s safe to acknowledge that 15 total minutes of playing time while riding the Raptors’ bench is not the ideal scenario for the 20-year-old at this stage. As with Malachi Flynn last season, Champagnie could quickly go from NBA afterthought to G League focal point as a rookie.

Expect him to be a fan favorite in Mississauga, where his very Raptor-like two-way game should play well. A lack of shooting prowess kept Champagnie, who the Raptors signed to a two-way contract, from being drafted this past summer, but the 6-6 forward will get the opportunities to improve and exhibits the work rate to address the flaw in his game.

Toronto Raptors rookie Justin Champagnie will improve in Mississauga.

If Champagnie’s shot doesn’t progress as hoped, it might be a marginal disappointment for the big club, but likely won’t interfere with his ability to stay on the floor thank to tenacious defense and a high motor.

Even in his limited NBA role to date, the Raptors organization showed that they are high on Champagnie. Toronto head coach Nick Nurse offered him more minutes than end-of-bench veterans Isaac Bonga and the recently waived Sam Dekker.

While it might be splitting hairs, Nurse offered some hints of what the club sees in the defensive-minded rookie. With a few tweaks on offense, Champagnie could be recalled.