The Toronto Raptors officially got their training camp grind kicked off nearly this week. Nick Nurse wants to ensure that this rebuilt roster and collection of non-guaranteed deals are as locked in as possible before their preseason debut against the new-look Utah Jazz.
The preseason is where we saw that Dalano Banton was worthy of NBA minutes in his rookie season and Justin Champagnie was an absolute steal of an undrafted free agent. While some roster hopefuls will undoubtedly follow in the path laid by those two, veterans will need to get back in the swing of things.
Before a ball is tipped in preseason action, Nurse needs to make sure that all of the available players are comfortable with the unique style of play that will be implemented in the season. Nurse may already start picking favorites after a few days of competition in Victoria.
These three players will be ones worth watching as the training camp festivities unfold. A few bench players have already received compliments from Nurse that deserve further examination, while an established presence is getting ready to embark on another fantastic season.
3 Toronto Raptors to keep an eye on in training camp
3. Dalano Banton
Banton is not only fighting with Malachi Flynn as they try to wiggle back into the rotation, but he’s trying to prove that he is worthy of a roster spot on this team. Given how his contract is structured, Toronto could get rid of him with minimal dead weight, if it comes to that.
Luckily for the Rexdale native, Nurse has singled him out as one of the best players on the court in the early days of camp. In a year in which the AmeriCup star will be promised nothing, Banton needs to show significant offensive improvement if he wants rotation time.
Dalano Banton is impressing the Toronto Raptors.
Banton looked like a much more effective shooter in Summer League play, and his performance for the Canadian national team showed off a more confident offensive player more willing to force the action. Both of those trends will need to be sustained if he wants to separate from Flynn.
Banton was an unusual prospect, as he required a ton of development with his offensive game, yet was a more experienced college player than most second-round lottery tickets. He needed to get things turned around fast, and Banton appears to be on the right track.