The Toronto Raptors have gone about remaking both the foundational pieces and ancillary edges of their roster, as stars like Fred VanVleet and bench players like Dalano Banton have both found new homes. VanVleet signed a ridiculous contract with the Houston Rockets, while Banton joined the rival Boston Celtics.
Brad Stevens seems to have a great deal of respect for Masai Ujiri’s eye for talent and developmental skills, as he signed both Banton and former Raptors two-way find Justin Champagnie. Oshae Brissett, who left Toronto and became a solid backup with the Indiana Pacers, is also on the Boston roster.
While Banton got off to a sluggish start in Summer League, he recorded 18 points and nine rebounds in a nice showing against the New York Knicks, going right at the basket with tons of success. Banton followed in the footsteps of Champagnie, who was one of Boston’s best players in Vegas.
Champagnie led the Celtics with 8.3 rebounds per game to go along with his 13.0 points per game. While shooting 30% from 3-point range on five attempts per game isn’t a tremendous improvement, it shows that he has more of a willingness to chuck it up from range.
Will Dalano Banton, Justin Champagnie hurt the Toronto Raptors with Celtics?
The Raptors likely were not even considering keeping either of these players long-term. Banton’s defensive skills were impressive, but his lack of offensive refinement helped names like Jeff Dowtin leapfrog him. Champagnie was much the same, as his rebounding and versatility were outweighed by poor shooting.
The Celtics could make Toronto rue the day they ever decided to part ways with either of them. Boston has become a solid shooting team under both Ime Udoka and Joe Mazzulla, so the thought of them turning Banton into a reputable shooter is by no means extreme.
Champagnie is in much the same boat as Banton, as a solid 3-point shot is all that stands in the way of him and consistent rotation time. Champagnie’s pesky nature on the floor and defensive potential might shine in Boston, much to the chagrin of Toronto.
The Raptors likely won’t be tearing their hair out after watching Banton and Champagnie find new homes due to some of the replacements that have come in, but the fact they could join a Celtics team that has the potential to cause problems for the Raptors next season could lead to some serious irritation.