The Raptors use of the D-League

Examining how the Raptors have used the D-League system and whether they’ve done a fair job of it.

Matt Hubert of DLeagueDigest is doing an analysis where he’s compiling the different ways NBA teams utilize their D-League affiliates. He asked us for our take on how the Raptors did in this regard, and as I sat down to write this post, I realized there’s not much to write about.

There are a few names that cross the mind, but it’s nothing to boast of in terms of the D-League being any useful to us.

  • Nathan Jawai was sent down, called up and sent down in his first season but he didn’t amount to anything.
  • Our 2006 second-round pick, P.J. Tucker, was sent down and then called up from the Colorado 14ers, but he didn’t figure into the Raptors’ long-term plans.
  • We recalled Luke Jackson from the Idaho Stampede during the 2006-07 season and then signed him through the 2007-08 season, all before he was waived in training camp.
  • Quincy Douby was called up from the Erie BayHawks and signed to a 10-day contract towards the end of the 2008-09 season. He impressed in limited minutes and then got invited to summer-league where he tore things up. The cinderella story didn’t last long as he got waived in November because of the emergence of Sonny Weems.

Even though they weren’t part of the Raptors’ affiliates, Sonny Weems and Jamario Moon played in the D-League for some time before making it in the NBA. Neither was Andre Barrett, the D-League draft’s top pick who stuck around with the Raptors for a full year after being signed to a couple 10-day contracts. It’s hard to view these players as “homegrown” since they were more or less poached from other farm systems. Moon is a bit different because he hadn’t played in the NBA before the Raptors signed him. There’s also Pops Mensah-Bonsu who we got after he was waived by the Spurs and impressed in San Antonio’s D-League affiliate, the Austin Toros.

The Raptors haven’t used the Erie BayHawks or the Idaho Stampede to really nurture players and prep them for the NBA; to be fair, I can’t find any great examples of teams doing that (I could be wrong on that).

Help fill the gap, have the Raptors done a fair job of using the D-League system properly or are they falling behind? Did I miss any D-League players that played for the Raptors other than just summer-league? What teams have done a good job using their NBDL teams?

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