Photo credit: MattAzevedo.com
The Raptors 905 season hasn’t yet drawn to a close, and the hardware is already coming in.
Edy Tavares was named D-League Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday, a feather in the cap of a terrific season.
The 7-foot-3 Tavares joined the 905 early in the season as a waiver claim after being cut by the Atlanta Hawks early in the NBA season and entering the D-League player pool. Over the course of the season, Tavares showed remarkable defensive acumen, using his exceptional length to turn shots away at the rim at will and anchor the second-best defense in the entire league. Tavares not only averaged 2.7 blocks (10.1 of all opponent 2-point attempts when he was on the floor), but helped the 905 clamp opponents down to the tune of 94.5 points per-100 possessions, the best mark among any regular on the team.
His strong play earned Tavares a late-season call from the Cleveland Cavaliers, who signed him to a multi-year deal last week. Tavares immediately made an impact in the season finale, grabbing 10 rebounds and turning away six Raptor shots. (You can read everything you need to know about Tavares’ incredible season in that link.)
Tavares follows DeAndre Liggins, Aaron Craft, and Liggins again as the most recent recipients of the award and follows Axel Toupane (Most Improved Player) and Scott Suggs (Sportsmanship Award) as 905ers to win awards. Head coach Jerry Stackhouse will likely soon follow.