2 pleasant surprises from Raptors initial Summer League roster

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 16: Head coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 16: Head coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors will play their first organized basketball in months when the Las Vegas Summer League properly kicks off. After drafting Christian Koloko and acing the undrafted free agent market, the Raptors are ready to unleash a new crop of young players on the league.

The roster has some question marks on it (Why is Malachi Flynn not here? Why are the Raptors inexplicably giving someone accused of choking his girlfriend in Rodions Kurucs an undeserved second chance?), but that shouldn’t take the shine away from an enticing crop of young players.

In addition to 2021-22 holdovers like Dalano Banton and Justin Champagnie and newcomers like Alex Barcello and Jaylen Sims, Toronto will bring back multiple proven NBA players to get some more experience in the Raptors system.

The Raptors have brought back old friend DJ Wilson, who kept bouncing on and off the Toronto roster last year on 10-day contracts. Wilson, in tandem with sharpshooter Armoni Brooks, will be worth the price of admission. Will either of them make the final roster?

Toronto Raptors: DJ Wilson, Armoni Brooks will be solid additions

Brooks flamed out in Houston after failing to add another dimension to his game beyond 3-point shooting. Oddly enough, his brief stint in Toronto was unusual in that he did just about everything Toronto asked him to do except shooting 3-pointers efficiently.

Brooks shot 38% from deep on just under eight 3-pointers per game during his rookie year in Houston. After a down year in 2021-22, Brooks is ready to see if he can get back on the right track and solidify the Toronto bench.

Wilson only played in four games with the Raptors by signing three 10-day contracts, but he made such a strong impression (7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds per game) that fans have been clamoring for him to return.

It might be harder to secure a spot on this team with Khem Birch still on the roster and the addition of Christian Koloko via the NBA draft, but the Raptors wouldn’t continue to keep bringing Wilson back if they thought he didn’t have a shot at improving this team.


While the main priorities for the Raptors in Summer League will be making sure that Koloko and two-way Ron Harper Jr. mesh well, they will need to see if any NBA veterans have a shot at making the roster. Wilson and Brooks certainly have familiarity with the team.

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