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Raptors Sign Austin Daye to two-year, $2 million Deal

The Raptors have signed Austin Daye, who reminds me of Andrea Bargnani.

The second year is not guaranteed. I’m actually quite familiar with Austin Daye as he’s someone that I’ve been tracking since before he got drafted. To get started, here’s his scouting report via ESPN Insider:

Scouting report
+ Tall, thin combo forward with accurate long-range jump shot. B athlete.
+ Has increased activity defensively, but struggles on boards. Can’t get to rim.
+ Good shot-blocker. Solid rebounder. Lacks great handle. Doesn’t draw fouls.


That stampede you heard was the remaining passengers getting off the Daye bandwagon. A jump-shooting forward who couldn’t make jump shots, Daye offered little at either end to offset his wayward shooting.

And wayward it was: He made 21.0 percent of his 3s and 27.4 percent of his 2s beyond 10 feet, which for an alleged shooter is a bit of a problem. Daye had the worst 2-point shooting percentage of any power forward at an abysmal 36.4 percent, and the worst overall shooting percentage at 32.2 percent. Did I mention he didn’t draw fouls either? That left Daye also the worst at his position in true shooting percentage and player efficiency rating.

The “good” news is he was only the second worst in rebound rate. Actually, the rest of his defense wasn’t bad — he ranked in the top 15 of power forwards in both blocks and steals per minute, and saw fewer overwhelming strength matchups given the increasing prevalence of small ball around the league. Unfortunately, his offense made him completely unplayable, and unless his shot recovers his career is in jeopardy.

That first line sums it up for me. Coming out of Gonzaga he was touted as a stretch-big who could pose mismatches, much like we thought Andrea Bargnani would. Unfortunately, the guy simply could not make jumpers and top it off, was horrendous defensively his first year. He shot 30% from three his rookie year and saw his minutes increase to 20 the year after on a bad Detroit team, and he overall disappointed by shooting only 40% overall. Remember, this was supposed to be his speciality.

His defense did look passable in Memphis in limited minutes, but I’m not sure how much of that was just him playing on a good team. The guy reminded me of a taller version of Ersan Ilyasova at one point but he just hasn’t been able to create an offensive niche in this league. If he is to stay in the NBA it’ll now be as a very situational role player, and there’s a good chance he’s staring down the Loren Woods path to nowhere.

You could also view him as a Rudy Gayish type as he’s been deployed as an oversized small forward. Without the quickness and ball-handling part though, he does run into danger of looking like a stiff, as he has on many a night in Detroit. Continuing with the versatile theme, he could be seen as competition for Terrence Ross after the latter’s rather underwhelming summer league performance. Using Gaye as a backup wing isn’t out of the question and it’s probably a good idea to give Terrence Ross some competition because as it stands right now, he’s the de facto backup shooting guard which seems rather undeserved.

It’s another low-risk move by Ujiri as he tries to find cover for Amir Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas. What this move does is give the Raptors another body to make the backup PF/C a platoon-type position where the rotation is entirely up for grabs. Clearly, Ujiri isn’t swinging for the fences this off-season and is content to using portions of the MLE to fill in gaps cheaply (to-be-confirmed, he could be part of the bi-annual exception).

He was part of the Rudy Gay deal as he was in the Tayshaun Prince package which Memphis received, and it’s now clear that that was only due to salary-matching reasons as Memphis showed little interest in his services. He was at the Drew League when this deal was consummated so I’m guessing some conversations were had there and things escalated quickly.

If you’re of the tank inclination you might be pleased with this move, and if you’re of the non-tank state of mind you’re viewing this, much like Augustin, as a buy-low move which could either pay off or be benign. Now that is versatility!

You can follow him on Twitter here, where he’s already changed his profile picture to a Raptors logo.

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