Photo credit: Christian Bonin / TSGphoto.com
A trio of Raptors 905 players are among the 40 G Leaguers invited to attend the annual G League Mini Camp for 2018.
Kennedy Meeks, Fuquan Edwin, and Shevon Thompson will all get their chance to build off of strong G League seasons and show out in front of NBA scouts and executives. The event takes place May 14 in Chicago, the same week as the NBA Draft Combine, so there should be plenty of people worth impressing in attendance. 13 players with experience at the mini camp have gone on to play in the NBA.
Meeks had a case as one of the G League’s most improved players this season, dropping plenty of weight and completely reinventing his defense. He helped fuel a mid-season turnaround and lead the 905 to the G League Finals, averaging 12.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, one steal, and 0.9 blocks while shooting 50.5 percent from the floor. He was among the league’s top rebounders at both ends by both volume and percentage, and the 905 leaned on him heavily to create from the block or the elbows. NBA teams may want to see that his progress can carry over to a more NBA-type defensive scheme, and Meeks has put himself in a great position to earn another training camp invite this year.
Acquired midseason via the waiver wire, Edwin delivered on his 3-and-D reputation and proved a plus-minus stud for the 905’s stretch run. The former Big East Defensive Player of the Year and All-Defensive D-League First Teamer averaged 10.2 points in 22 minutes, knocking down 37.3 percent of his threes and chipping in 1.5 assists and 1.6 steals per-game. NBA teams always say they’re scouring the G League for players to fit certain roles rather than high-volume stars, and at 6-foot-6 with good positional length, Edwin should at least earn a Summer League roster spot from someone.
Thompson was acquired in trade a little before Edwin and had an even greater impact, working as a tag-team partner with Meeks at the center position. Coming off the bench, Thompson, too, ranked among the league’s most prolific rebounders, and his skill on the glass and in the post allowed the 905 to consistently have a high-end center on the floor, a big benefit at the G League level. Thompson averaged 10.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, and one block in 20.3 minutes, shooting 61.4 percent from the floor and flashing real offensive explosiveness. Still a bit raw given his relative inexperience, this year marked a huge step forward for Thompson as a pro, and at 7-feet with a tremendous wingspan and good bounce, he’s a prospect worth tracking.