A pair of Raptors 905 wings have played their way into a showcase situation next month.
Davion Berry and Scott Suggs will both participate in the D-League minicamp in Chicago from May 8-10, according to Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor. Ronald Roberts had also been hoping to attend but is still rehabilitating from the knee injury that ended his season and ultimately required a platelet-rich plasma injection.
If the date and location stands out to you, it should – the NBA Draft Combine takes place May 11-15 in the same city. With a heavy presence of scouts and executives already in the city, the D-League uses the opportunity to put its very best players on display. The roster isn’t a perfect list, but in broad terms, the players at the minicamp can be considered to be within the D-League’s top 40 players. In short, the minicamp gives NBA execs a close look at the cream of the D-League crop as they begin their offseason prep, and a strong showing might make the difference in landing a Summer League invite, or even an invite with a small guarantee.
It’s not a surprising invite for Suggs, the recent winner of the D-League’s Sportsmanship Award. The 26-year-old sharpshooter spent most of the season on the fringes of a call-up, his poise and shooting would make his transition to the NBA relatively easy. He’s not a star and is only a decent defender, but there are few scorers as steady and as within themselves at this level. He was the guy the 905 turned to whenever they needed a key bucket, or when the point guard play was skittish and they needed a wing to settle things down. He averaged 18 points and knocked down 41.9 percent of his threes, including 50 percent from the corners.
Berry, meanwhile, joined the 905 at the trade deadline and talk about making an impact immediately. Nobody seemed to know what to expect from Berry down the stretch, but he impressed a great deal. He appeared in 10 games, averaging 17.9 points on 55.7 percent shooting while dishing 3.7 assists and working as a late-game ball-handler. He’s a tough, multi-position defender who can play at either guard spot on the other end, and he shot 42.7 percent on threes across his two teams.
This is a nice nod for both players and, to be quite honest, a huge opportunity. The Raptors don’t have any claim over either beyond their returning D-League rights, so it’s entirely possible they could impress enough in Chicago to find their way out of the organization. The best case for the Raptors is that both show well but still head to Vegas as part of the Raptors’ summer league outfit in July, but the org would be just fine having helped two more players succeed and take the next steps in their career if not.