The Toronto Raptors are ready to kick off their Summer League schedule on Saturday afternoon with a skirmish against the rival Philadelphia 76ers. Toronto’s ability to take young players and turn them into contributors will make this must-see TV for everyone involved.
The Raptors have veterans like the recently signed DJ Wilson and former Rockets sharpshooter Armoni Brooks to go along with a collection of rookies and second-year players. After showing off Scottie Barnes and Precious Achiuwa last year, Toronto opted for depth rather than star power here.
Toronto’s main priority in this series of games should be making sure that shooting deficient players from last year have discovered a reliable jumper. Likewise, Masai Ujiri should be eyeing some of the Raptors’ bigs and examining just how far they have come on offense.
These three Raptors will be under a microscope for most of the Summer League schedule. If fans are looking for reasons to tune in and catch the next generation of Raptors, they should be laser-focused on these players that need to prove themselves.
3 Toronto Raptors to watch in Summer League
3. David Johnson
Dalano Banton seems like the easy answer here, but it looks like he is going to be on the NBA roster in some form or fashion next year. Johnson’s status is much less certain, especially with former Rutgers star Ron Harper Jr. already taking up one of the two-way contract spots.
Johnson barely saw any playing time in the NBA, and he made just 41% of his shots in the G League. A second-round pick, Johnson is guaranteed and promised next to nothing in the NBA. A second disappointing Summer League stint could bring an end to his brief time in Toronto.
Will David Johnson impress the Toronto Raptors?
Johnson impressed the Raptors as a solid defender and decent finisher at the collegiate level. Considering all the injuries that he sustained over his rookie year, Toronto may be able to squeeze some value out of him on a relatively thin guard depth chart.
Johnson will likely be pitted against Brooks and Banton in Summer League, with the veteran sniper and fellow second-round ball-handler both trying to make their case for extended minutes as Fred VanVleet’s primary backup. Johnson has his back against the wall, but he could become a star as a result.