While all eyes were on Toronto Raptors rookie Gradey Dick as he began his NBA career in Summer League competition, watching him and him alone would be a disservice to the rest of the roster. Names like Markquis Nowell and Moses Brown stood out in an 83-74 loss against the Chicago Bulls.
While Dick had some tremendous defensive plays and looked willing to initiate offense for his teammates as a playmaker, he did finish with 10 points on 3-12 shooting. While Dick’s highs and lows were on display, Nowell and Brown won themselves a place in the hearts of Raptors fandom.
Nowell finished with 17 points and nine assists in just 28 minutes, looking every bit like the leader and game-changer he was at Kansas State. Most of his assists went to Brown, who has his way with an undersized Bulls frontcourt as one-half of a pick-and-roll tandem that threatens to dominate Vegas play.
Brown’s final tally included 14 points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes, as his power and mobility proved to be too much for Chicago to handle consistently. The offense wasn’t super smooth all the time, but Nowell and Brown made up for it with a solid performance.
Markquis Nowell, Moses Brown impressed the Toronto Raptors.
Jeff Dowtin earned himself a two-way contract and a spot in the fanbase’s good graces after dominating Summer League play, and Nowell’s strong play brought back many of those same memories. The degree of difficulty on some of the passes the 5-8 dynamo completed was simply astonishing.
Brown, his pick-and-roll partner, has had some success in the pros due to his gargantuan frame, but his 128 games in the NBA have been split across six different teams. If Toronto is to be his seventh team, they might actually give him the developmental energy he has needed for so long.
Nowell already has one of the club’s three two-way contracts, and there is a chance Ron Harper Jr. can secure the second with a solid performance in Vegas. Brown’s game could help him earn the third two-way, as the chemistry he and Nowell obviously have could be lethal in the G League.
While looking at Dick and his performance will be the highlight of Summer League competition for most Raptors fans and members of the organization, Nowell and Brown showed they were very clearly a cut above the rest of the G League-level players on the roster.