Negus Webster-Chan has made the Raptors 905′ opening-day roster out of open tryouts. Draft picks Antwaine Wiggins, Goodluck Okonoboh, and J.T. Terrell have also made the team, Raptors Republic has learned.
The 905 are waiving Grge Morrow, Jeremiah Williams, Zeke Marshall, Kendall Williams, and Ethan O’Day, as a result. The team has to waive five players Thursday in accordance with the D-League’s deadline to get the regular-season roster to 12 by Nov. 10. Williams and O’Day were both selected in the fourth round of the 2016 D-League Draft, while the other three had earned training camp invites through open tryouts during the offseason.
A year ago, not a single 905 draft pick last the full season on the team, but they did get short-term contributions from several players. The hope with Wiggins (second round), Okonoboh (second round, via a trade for the rights to Michale Kyser and a fifth-round pick), and Terrell (fourth round) is that they, along with Webster-Chan, can be rotation players. Webster-Chen impressed with his ability to shoot the ball, Terrell with his all-around game, and Wiggins and Okonoboh for their defensive potential. This is the second year in a row (Ashton Smith 2015, Negus Webster-Chan 2016) that a GTA product has made the 905 out of open tryouts.
It’s worth noting, too, that the 905 have the No. 2 waiver priority in the league, so if someone unexpected enters the player pool early on, the 905 are in a position to jump.
Joining the four players who earned roster spots in camp (the team essentially viewed it as nine players competing for four spots, barring a surprise) are eight players who were long assumed to be a part of the roster. Two of those – Jarrod Uthoff and Yanick Moreira – come as affiliate players, having been cut by the Toronto Raptors in NBA training camp. E.J. Singler returns, having also been cut from Raptors camp, and Brady Heslip was acquired in the offseason in the event he, too, was cut by the Raptors. Axel Toupane is back after getting cut by the Denver Nuggets, joined by John Jordan, the defending Slam Dunk Champion. The final two players, Will Sheehey and C.J. Leslie, are technically returning rights players who were acquired in the expansion draft last summer but spent the year overseas.
Here’s how the roster looks right now:
|Brady Heslip||Italy||Trade||G||Returning Rights (trade)|
|John Jordan||Raptors 905||Trade||PG||Returning Rights|
|C.J. Leslie||Israel||Expansion||PF||Returning Rights (expansion)|
|Yanick Moreira||Spain/France||Affiliate||C||Affiliate Player|
|Goodluck Okonoboh||UNLV||Draft-Trade||PF/C||2nd-round pick (trade)|
|Will Sheehey||France||Expansion||SF||Returning Rights (expansion)|
|E.J. Singler||Raptors 905||Trade||Wing||Returning Rights|
|J.T. Terrell||N/A||Draft||SG||4th-round pick|
|Axel Toupane||Raptors 905/Denver||2015 Affiliate||Wing||Returning Rights|
|Jarrod Uthoff||NCAA||Affiliate||F||Affiliate Player|
|Negus Webster-Chan||NBL||Tryout||Wing||Invite from tryout|
|Antwaine Wiggins||Argentina||Draft||SF||2nd-round pick|
The 905 now have more than a week to prepare ahead of their regular-season opener on Nov. 18.
Expect Bruno Caboclo to see plenty of practice time with the 905 this week, and he may be joined by Fred VanVleet depending on the health of the Raptors’ roster (they might prefer to have the extra body with them on the road). Pascal Siakam, Jakob Poeltl, and Lucas Nogueira aren’t expected to see immediate time on assignment due to the thinned out frontcourt with the parent club, and Delon Wright would probably only see time as a rehabilitation stint when he’s cleared for contact in December or January.
The rotation will probably shape up something like this, keeping in mind that traditional positions mean even less in the modern D-League than they do in the NBA, and that a lot of these guys can play two or three spots:
PG: (Fred VanVleet/Delon Wright), Brady Heslip, John Jordan
SG: E.J. Singler, J.T. Terrell, Negus Webster-Chan
SF: (Bruno Caboclo), Axel Toupane, Will Sheehey, Antwaine Wiggins
PF: (Pascal Siakam), Jarrod Uthoff, C.J. Leslie
C: (Jakob Poeltl/Lucas Nogueira), Yanick Moreira, Goodluck Okonoboh
UPDATE: The 905 confirmed our report with the official announcement of their roster.
— Raptors905MR (@Raptors905MR) November 10, 2016