The Toronto Raptors appeared more willing to give Dalano Banton and Armoni Brooks time as Fred VanVleet’s primary backup than former first-round draft choice Malachi Flynn. That’s quite a fall from grace for someone who was brought into the NBA with a fair degree of hype.
Flynn went from winning Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month to falling off the face of the earth. His scoring dipped, and he was excommunicated from the rotation for large chunks of the season. This is a far cry from the player who was tearing things up in his rookie year.
Getting confidence will be vital for Flynn as he tries to re-establish himself. Like many established pros, Flynn decided to get some reps in on the pro-am circuit. Considering the early returns from Jamal Crawford’s “Crawsover” event, Flynn’s abilities are as sharp as ever.
Flynn finished the event with 73 points, showcasing the scoring skill that made him such a scouting community darling. Flynn was pulling up from exceptionally deep range, creating havoc with his array of dribbling tricks, and looking like someone reason to make an impact in the NBA.
Toronto Raptors: Malachi Flynn dominated the pro-am circuit.
Flynn won Mountain West Conference Player of the Year in large part due to his ability to create offense for himself and blow by opposing defenders. Be it thanks to a lack of opportunity or his own shortcomings, he hasn’t displayed that skill regularly in the NBA.
This is the Flynn Raptors fans thought they were getting out of San Diego State. He looked empowered with the ball and confident from deep. While it’s easy to dismiss this performance because of the level of competition, it’s fun to see current and former Raptors get their game on at these pro-ams. Don’t be a spoilsport!
Take pro-ams for what they’re worth. After all, Payton Pritchard scored 92 points at one last year. At the very least, it’s nice to see Flynn in such good spirits and ready to make a run at a rotation spot once again. He’ll need every bit of momentum he can get to secure a spot.
With Banton and Brooks both making cases for increased playing time in Summer League and Nurse always ready to use one of either Scottie Barnes or Pascal Siakam behind VanVleet, Flynn has tons of competition. Putting up a crooked number like that shows that he’s ready to be as offensively creative as ever.