The Toronto Raptors have 13 guaranteed contracts on the roster, leaving two vacancies players on non-guaranteed deals to secure a spot. Dalano Banton and Justin Champagnie, two rookies from last year’s team, will compete with DJ Wilson and Josh Jackson for the final spot.
Throughout the preseason, Champagnie has been hampered with an injury, giving his three teammates ample opportunities to grab one of those final roster spots. After two postseason games, all of those players have put some solid plays on tape that will make Nick Nurse stressed over this decision.
The Raptors are 2-0 in the preseason, with wins coming against the Utah Jazz by 32-points and over the Boston Celtics in an overtime thriller. If you thought last year’s decision was thought to make, this one is bordering on impossible given all of the factors in play.
All four non-guaranteed players the Raptors have on their roster can make very legitimate cases for one of the vacancies. Which one will Nurse choose? That may come down to who has the best combination of a preseason resume and a fit on their current roster.
Making a case for all 4 Toronto Raptors non-guaranteed players.
Based on what many have heard from Nick Nurse, it seems like Banton is almost a lock for one of those two spots. Considering how Banton has made many of the offensive improvements that the Raptors required him to check off during the offseason, his spot seems all but secured.
Banton has averaged 8.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in the preseason in just over 10 minutes played per game. If Nick Nurse wants a true point guard to take some of the pressure off Fred VanVleet, Banton would be a clear and obvious choice as a backup.
Dalano Banton has impressed the Toronto Raptors.
Banton is fresh off a sterling performance for the Canadian national team in FIBA AmeriCup play, and it looks like those performances have translated over to the Raptors. When compared to last season, Banton looks much more composed and in control as a ball-handler.
With Malachi Flynn trying to overcome an injury, Banton may have a leg up in the backup point guard hunt. At this point, the only way Banton might not make the roster is somehow regressing in such a shocking fashion that this staff is left with no choice. That’s unlikely.