Raptors 905 acquire rights to Heslip for rights to Roberts

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Raptors 905 wasted no time in trying to reshape their roster following Monday’s opening of the player movement window.

The Toronto Raptors’ D-League affiliate has acquired the returning player rights to Brady Heslip and a 2016 second-round pick (Reno’s) from the Reno Bighorns for the returning player rights to Ronald Roberts, a second-round pick (originally from Grand Rapids), and a third-round pick (originally from Northern Arizona), the team announced Thursday.

Heslip will play for the 905 this season, eschewing overseas opportunities, Raptors Republic has learned.

The move makes sense with Heslip willing to play in the D-League this coming season. Roberts, while immensely impressive a season ago, signed in Turkey for the season, and with several other contributors from last year heading overseas (or to the NBA), the Raptors need bodies. Heslip, a local product of Oakville and Burlington, could be a body and more, potentially bringing some serious shooting that the 905 were short on a season ago.

Undrafted out of Baylor in 2014, Heslip spent the 2014-15 season with Reno, averaging 24.5 points over 20 games before opting to finish the season in Bosnia. Last year, he once again opted for the overseas path, averaging 13.9 points for Pallacanestro Cantu in the top Italian league. Heslip is primarily known for his marksmanship, having shot 43.7 percent on threes in college, 45 percent overseas, and 44.3 percent on the D-League. He also holds the D-League record with 13 threes in a single game. He doesn’t bring a lot more to the table than shooting and scoring, and he’s coming off of a disappointing showing for Canada in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, but Heslip represents a welcome injection of offense who could help relieve some pressure on the floor for the team’s younger players.

That the 26-year-old is a local product on a team that, so far, only has Ashton Smith to bill as such, is an added bonus.

Here’s how the 905’s player rights sheet now stacks up (though it’s worth noting the players in camp with the parent club, save for E.J. Singler, would need to have their rights acquired through the affiliate system, the draft, or by trade in the case of Drew Crawford, and the players can choose to play elsewhere):

Player Last Season Years Remaining Notes
E.J. Singler Raptors 905 2 In camp with Raptors
Yanick Moreira Spain/France 0 Potential Affiliate Player
Jarrod Uthoff NCAA 0 Potential Affiliate Player
Fred VanVleet NCAA 0 Potential Affiliate Player
Drew Crawford Israel 1 Rights owned by Erie; in camp
John Jordan Raptors 905 2
Shannon Scott Raptors 905 2
Ashton Smith Raptors 905 2
Greg Smith Raptors 905/Minnesota 2
James Siakam Delaware 2 Acquired at end of season
Brady Heslip Italy 2 Acquired for Ronald Roberts
Mustafa Shakur Germany 1
Will Sheehey France 1
Michael Williams N/A 1
Axel Toupane Raptors 905/Denver 2 In camp with Nuggets
DeAndre Daniels Raptors 905 2 Raptors own NBA rights; Signed in Italy
Davion Berry Raptors 905 2 Signed in Greece
Michale Kyser Raptors 905 2 Signed in Lebanon
Scott Suggs Raptors 905 2 Signed in Spain
Sim Bhullar Raptors 905 2 Signed in Taiwan
C.J. Leslie Israel 1 Signed in Cyprus
Ramone Moore Lithuania 1 Signed in Australia
Mitchell Watt Germany/Israel 1 Signed in Italy

The pick swap sees the 905 give up a mid-third and a mid-second for a late second, so they’re sweetening the pot here. Their first pick in the draft, slated for Oct. 30 will now come 21st in the second round. The 905 also have three selections in the fourth round and a fifth-round pick, but no first- or third-rounder.

1st – None
2nd – Reno
3rd – None
4th – Own, Bakersfield, Texas
5th – None

905 general manager Dan Tolzman will likely be busy in the coming weeks filling out the roster and securing commitment (or denial) from any players with outstanding rights. And of course, the Raptors can assign up to three NBA players at a time, something they made great use of a season ago and stand to again in 2016-17.


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