Dalano Banton has proven he is Raptors’ best backup PG option

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 02: Dalano Banton #45 of the Toronto Raptors, a teammate of Malachi Flynn (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 02: Dalano Banton #45 of the Toronto Raptors, a teammate of Malachi Flynn (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

One of the many position battles currently being conducted on this Toronto Raptors team is at the critical position of backup point guard. Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam will likely man that role in the regular season, but Dalano Banton and Malachi Flynn will both be given a chance.

With Flynn out for Toronto’s preseason skirmish against the Houston Rockets due to an injury and Barnes having one of his worst games as a professional, Banton took advantage by putting together a performance worthy of an NBA rotation player.

Banton recorded 14 points in just 20 minutes of work, making his first five shots and doing everything he could to keep Toronto in the game. This comes after Rexdale’s finest scoring 17 points in 21 minutes during Raptors wins against the lowly Jazz and contending Celtics.

The Raptors didn’t win against the Rockets, but Banton showed that he is worthy of a backup point guard spot in the NBA. Expanding the rotation to 10 players might be a tough call for Nick Nurse to make, but Banton’s preseason stats are quickly becoming too good to ignore.


Dalano Banton is starting to impress the Toronto Raptors.

Going beyond the box score reveals the fact that Banton is continuing to get better with more experience. After looking a bit gun-shy in his rookie season, Banton is slashing toward the rim and finishing confidently. His shooting appears to be better based on what we’ve seen in the preseason and with Team Canada.

Banton scored at least 16 points in four consecutive games with the Canadian team in FIBA AmeriCup play. While he wasn’t exactly playing a collection of elite NBA perimeter stoppers, this has to be one of the most successful moments of Banton’s young career. NBA defenders in Boston and Houston haven’t faired much better.

While Scottie Barnes could, in theory, be an amazing backup point guard (as was evidenced last year), his poor performance against the Rockets contrasted with how cool and calm Banton looked might set off some alarm bells in Nurse’s mind. Banton was always a developmental project, but Toronto is getting closer to seeing results.

If the Raptors are going to go all-in on this goofy 6-9 experiment and see just how much mixing and matching they can get away with, Banton needs to be a part of the team’s calculus for the upcoming season. If he hist his stride in the regular season, Toronto will have another second-round success story to boast about.

Next. 5 trade targets amid Victor Wembanyama tank. dark