While Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors have all but finished getting their NBA roster sorted out following Justin Champagnie winning the roster battle, the folks with Raptors 905 in Mississauga are still in the process of getting the best group possible.
While many NBA teams choose not to rely heavily on their G League teams, Toronto is one of the few teams in the league who competes for championships regularly and uses their G League affiliate to grow future pro players. A few players from yesteryear are coming back in an effort to turn 905 into a winner again.
The Raptors signed and waived both 2021 second-round pick David Johnson and a 905 star from last year in Reggie Perry, enabling them to head to Mississauga. Other players who were added in this fashion include Summer League standout Christian Vital, sharpshooter Ryan Hawkins, and former Pistons guard Saben Lee.
Both Johnson and Perry had enough interesting traits to be drafted in back-to-back seasons, but neither of them have harnessed their gifts enough to earn permanent NBA roles. Perhaps one more year of seasoning in the G League can give these Raptors backups the tools they need to succeed.
The Toronto Raptors brought back David Johnson and Reggie Perry.
If you blinked, you may have missed Johnson’s tenure in Toronto. On top of the fact that he was not included in many of the post-draft social media hype posts, he never scored a point in the NBA. Due to both COVID-19 and a hamstring injury, Johnson was inactive during times when he could have wiggled onto the floor for minutes.
Johnson averaged 11.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in the G League. What’s the problem with that? Well, he did so while playing shooting just 41% from the field and 32% from 3-point range. Johnson was a limited offensive player at Louisville, and he hasn’t made as much progress as Toronto would have hoped.
A former second-round pick of the Brooklyn Nets, Perry has proven he can be an NBA backup on the back of his post game and solid jumper for a big man his size. After averaging 10.0 points and 5.1 rebounds in a nine-game stint with Portland, Perry gives Toronto some reliable 905 depth.
While the chances of either Perry or Johnson playing an important role on the Raptors in 2022-23 are negligible, Toronto has once again built one of the strongest G League rosters across the association. New coach Eric Khoury will have plenty of interesting options to choose from.