The Toronto Raptors announced their roster for the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League on Friday. The roster is as follows:
|NO.||PLAYER||POS||HT||WT||BIRTHDATE||PRIOR TO NBA/HOME COUNTRY||NBA EXP.|
|32||Fuquan Edwin||F||6-6||213||9/17/1991||Seton Hall/USA||R|
|15||Tryggvi Hlinason||C||7-1||260||10/28/1997||Valencia (Spain)/Iceland||R|
|6||Augusto Lima||C||6-10||235||9/17/1991||UCAM Murcia (Spain)/Brazil||R|
|34||Alfonzo McKinnie||F||6-8||215||9/17/1992||Wisconsin-Green Bay/USA||1|
|13||Malcolm Miller||G-F||6-7||210||3/6/1993||Holy Cross/USA||1|
|11||Codi Miller-McIntyre||G||6-3||205||6/1/1994||Wake Forest/USA||R|
|20||Giddy Potts||G||6-2||220||8/8/1995||Middle Tennessee/USA||R|
|27||Shevon Thompson||C||7-0||242||6/10/1993||George Mason/Jamaica||R|
The Summer League team will be coached by Nick Nurse himself.
Their schedule for the tournament is as follows:
- Friday, July 6 – 12pm PT vs. New Orleans (ESPNU)
- Sunday, July 8 – 12pm PT vs. Minnesota (NBA TV)
- Monday, July 9, 12:30pm PT vs. Oklahoma City (NBA TV)
From there, teams will be bracketed based on record and point differential. Every team is guaranteed at least five games in total, so the Raptors will be in Vegas until at least July 13 and possibly as late as July 17 if they make a run to the championship.
Nick Nurse: Following in the footsteps of a few other first-time NBA head coaches, Nurse has made the decision to coach the Vegas squad himself, surrounded by a still-developing staff. This makes a ton of sense on several fronts, and it’s a great sign of Nurse’s desire to hit the ground running that he’s opted to do so. While Nurse has head coaching experience, it’s been several years since he was in the driver’s seat, and five or six games of reps ahead of the preseason should help him shake any rust off with the process of calling the shots himself. It’s also a good way to help build chemistry within the staff ahead of the regular season, and for him to begin developing a rapport with a number of Raptors who are on the Vegas roster. It should also give us a glimpse into the kind of tweaks and experiments Nurse has planned – it’s still too early for wholesale changes, and Nurse doesn’t have the personnel here he will in Toronto, but this should be a nice peak into his thinking for the year ahead.
OG Anunoby: This is a great opportunity for Anunoby, who is probably a little too advanced for the Vegas stage impact-wise but who hasn’t had the chance to play a featured role as he will here yet. Anunoby missed all of Summer League last year following knee surgery and was relegated to strength and conditioning work and set shooting. He also didn’t see any time with Raptors 905, immediately jumping into the NBA rotation. Here, the team can funnel more possessions his way to expedite his development and experiment with his face-up game and ability to create in the pick-and-roll. Last summer, Pascal Siakam wowed with the progress he’d made in a similar opportunity, and Anunoby will get his first chance to make a case for a larger share of the offense here. This might be the team’s biggest window yet into just how much higher Anunoby’s offensive ceiling can push than was originally expected before the 2017 draft.
Malachi Richardson: This will stand as an interesting look at the Raptors’ player development incubator. So far, they’ve been the ones identifying, signing/drafting, and developing talent, and they’ve had a great deal of success. Richardson is the first real piece they haven’t had their fingerprints all over, and how he’s progressed since coming over from Sacramento’s woeful development setup at midseason will be worth monitoring. If he suddenly looks like a potential NBA player – he has not, through two years, looked the part with any consistency – then the Raptors’ confidence in their ability to develop distressed prospect assets could grow, providing more market opportunity moving forward. Richardson has great size for the two and a sweet-looking stroke, so his progress will be a matter of conditioning and beginning to think and read the game at a higher level within the Raptors’ system.
Alfonzo McKinnie: With a July 20 guarantee date on his deal – essentially a team option for the minimum for 2018-19 – perhaps nobody has more to lose at Summer League than McKinnie, who turned his audition here last year into an NBA contract with a sizable guarantee. His progress stagnated a little bit this past season, as he spent the bulk of his time with Raptors 905 and didn’t take a major step forward as an outside shooter, the one biggest skill he needs to discover to stick as a 3-and-D weapon in the NBA. There’s still plenty to like, as McKinnie is hyper-athletic, a solid defender at either forward position, and an absolute hawk on the offensive glass or in transition. There’s not a lot of downside to locking in a minimum-salaried 25-year-old, so his goal here will be showing enough shooting and playmaking progress to warrant keeping him over the flexibility of an open roster spot to sign a different minimum player.
Malcolm Miller: It’s possible that Miller and McKinnie are in a bit of a competition here (and maybe through Rawle Alkins in, too) as the team looks to fill out the back of the roster with versatile wings. Miller got the chance to show he can excel in the role he’ll be asked to play in the NBA last year, proving the best individual defender on the 905 and even stepping into some starts with the Raptors. He’s put on a bit of weight with the aim of adding power forward to the list of positions he can guard capably (he’s more combo-wing than combo-forward right now despite his positional size and length) and has been developing his left hand so he can become a more multi-faceted perimeter player on offense. He’s the best shooter of any wing that will be on the fringes of the roster, and how he’s progressed with some legitimate offseason – he missed the bulk of last summer following ankle surgery – could determine how quickly he’s scooped up as a restricted free agent.
Shevon Thompson: A stand-out with the 905 last year, Thompson left most people wondering why the heck he was available for next to nothing on the trade market early in the year. Dude was just sitting at home when the 905 called to trade for his rights, having come back early from Lebanon in part because access to a gym was limited on non-game days and he wanted to keep developing. He came to the game a little late, playing high school ball in Jamaica and then doing the junior college circuit before landing at George Mason, and so even at 25, there would seem to be some upside still to tap into here. What the Raptors are intrigued by becomes obvious quickly when watching him – Thompson is 6-foot-11 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan and 9-foot-3 standing reach, has a quick first step, a decent post game, and great hands to set up explosive finishes around the rim. He has room to grow as a defender, both in the individual sense and within the team concept, but he was one of the G League’s leaders in rebound rate, field-goal percentage, defensive rating, and win shares per-48 minutes, earning him an invite to the G League Mini Camp a few weeks back and this Vegas invite.
Fuquan Edwin: The summer roster has a bit of an identity with all of these versatile potential 3-and-D wings and Edwin fits the mold. Like Thompson, the 905 picked him up in-season, and he quickly became a Jerry Stackhouse favorite. Edwin posted the third-best steal percentage and second-best defensive rating in the G League last season, and Synergy Sports graded him out as an above-average isolation defender thanks in part to his 6-foot-8 wingspan and ability to slide down to power forward if the 905 needed to get small. He also hit 37.3 percent of his threes, including 41.5 percent from the corners, and was a weapon in the 905 transition game, as well. Edwin will turn 27 by the time the preseason rolls around, and he’ll be looking to show he can add more to his role card beyond spot-up threes and individual defense to try to earn an invite to camp.
Undrafted free agents
Rawle Alkins: The Raptors didn’t end up trading into the draft but immediately scooped up someone who was projected as a bubble first-round pick (average ranking of 39, high ranking of 20) as an undrafted free agent. The deal hasn’t been made official, but Alkins is signing an Exhibit 10 deal with the Raptors, meaning he’ll be in camp competing for a spot and, failing that, the team can convert him to a two-way contract or give him a $50,000 bonus if he stays with Raptors 905 long enough. Summer League is a first opportunity for Alkins to make his case that the G League bonus isn’t a necessary consideration, and he fits the ethos here as another potential 3-and-D wing. Even with some stagnation in his sophomore year (in part due to a broken foot), he impressed, hitting 35.9 percent on four threes per-game, providing excellent individual defense, and earning All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention. All the tools are there – he has a 6-foot-9 wingspan and is 217 pounds, good size for the two, and he blocked shots, grabbed offensive rebounds, and got to the line well for his position – but he’s not a finished product as a team defender and will need to show he can do more than hit a middling percentage of open looks on the offensive end.
Andrew Rowsey: Every Marquette player is tough, and when you’re a 5-foot-11 point guard trying to make the NBA, that’s going to have to be true. Rowsey took a bit of a roundabout path to get to this point, ultimately taking a big step forward in his senior year and averaging 20.5 points and 4.8 assists. Most notable in Rowsey’s profile is that he hit 40.8 percent on threes over his college career, taking nearly 1,000 attempts. That’s a heck of a skill to get your foot in the door, and so even as a very undersized point guard and 24-year-old rookie, he would seem worth a look as a potential Raptors 905 lead guard. There, he’d have time to continue developing as a playmaker, working on his finishing to make up for his size, and showing that smart and tough defense can translate to a certain floor, if not a defensive ceiling.
Giddy Potts: Like Rowsey, Potts can really shoot, with deep range that should comfortably extend to the NBA 3-point line. He, too, hit over 40 percent of his threes in his college career, knocking down 41.7 percent of nearly 700 attempts. Potts isn’t exactly big for the position at 6-foot-2, but he’s build like a fullback (220 pounds), and that should help him defensively and as a finisher as he begins his professional career. The problem might be that he’s a two, and he’d be undersized for that position if his point guard skills don’t develop to where he can play the one full-time at the next level. He’s only 22, so there’s time for him to put those pieces together, and a season with the 905 where he has the ball in his hands plenty would probably help to that end if he can’t blow any teams away with his shooting in Vegas.
Tryggvi Hlinason: The Icelandic Sheep Farmer gets his opportunity! The 20-year-old 7-plus footer went undrafted earlier this month, but he was actually on the radar a number of places. ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and The Athletic all had him ranked in their top 70 prospects and the APEX, ESPN, and Kevin Pelton models all ranked him in the top 60. That’s a really interesting piece to add late in the Summer League process, and Hlinason will surely be looking to impress to earn a training camp invite or even a two-way contract. Playing in the Icelandic league two years ago, Hlinason averaged 11.6 points, eight rebounds, and 2.7 blocks in 28.9 minutes and shot 65.2 percent from the floor. He even attempted three threes! The general consensus seems to be that there’s a lot to like here, he just needs a lot more time playing against good competition, and a season of small minutes with Valencia this year didn’t provide much of a look (he played 188 minutes total and just 90 in EuroLeague). He’s a good finisher and a great screen-setter, protects the rim well, and is reasonably mobile for a 7-footer, he’s just pretty raw creating anything for himself and is said to be hesitant shooting sometimes because of it. It should be really fun to see how he measures up against stiffer competition and whether he looks like a reasonable bet for G League or two-way development. Jonas Valanciunas spoke highly of him, too, after he dropped 19 against Lithuania. This is fun.
Other free agents
Chris Boucher: Waived by the Warriors after a rookie season on a two-way deal last year, Boucher has finally put the torn ACL that cost him a slot on the 2017 NBA Draft behind him. Boucher looked great at training camp with Canada and in exhibition games against China, flashing a lot of the shot-blocking and rim-protection instincts that make him such an interesting prospect and building on a really strong close to his G League season (he averaged 17 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks over his last few weeks with Santa Cruz). While he’s a little on the older end at 25, he still possesses a lot of theoretical upside given how raw he is and how late he found his way to competitive basketball. He’ll need to add a lot of strength and continue to add range to a jump shot he only occasionally unleashed in the G League, but at 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-4 wingspan and tremendous anticipation as a defender, there’s a lot to like here. He has more perimeter skill and interior scoring touch than he’s maybe gotten credit for, too, and Vegas will be a good opportunity to see how that can translate to the Raptors’ system and with a number of teammates who will fit the uber-energetic style Boucher employs.
Marquis Teague: Almost any time you can bring a former first-round pick into Summer League, you jump at the chance. It wasn’t that long ago that the Bulls picked Teague 29th overall, and even though that was back in 2012, Teague is still just 25. He’s had trouble sticking in the NBA, playing 91 games with three teams including three with Memphis this year, but a full-time return to the G League this year after a season split between Israel, Russia, and Fort Wayne allowed him to show marked improvement. In 47 games with the Memphis Hustle, he averaged 17.6 points and 6.1 assists, most notably hitting 42.7 percent of his 3-point attempts. He’s now hit 37.3 percent on over 400 career G League threes, likely a better barometer of his shooting than a scattered 10-of-45 NBA sample. The question for Teague with the Raptors will be whether he can run the offense capably and get those around him involved effectively, as the Raptors don’t figure to ask him to carry the scoring load himself. A good Summer League could be what Teague needs to get a camp invite, or even a contract, from an NBA team with a need for experienced guard depth that still has some upside.
Jordan Loyd: Loyd was actually in Summer League with the Raptors last year, too, impressing with how he slid into a role fairly seamlessly and produced despite not hitting well from outside. I actually even wrote about him finding that balance between trying to show to land a job and also trying to show he can play a defined role. Rather than return for a second G League season last year, Loyd played for Hapoel Eilat in Israel, where he averaged 17.4 points and hit 39.9 percent on nearly five 3-point attempts per-game. That’s the skill that makes him an intriguing prospect – he hit 34.2 percent in his G League rookie year in 2016-17 – along with strong secondary playmaking skills from the shooting guard position. The fact that the Raptors brought him back points to them being high on him, and with a good showing here, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Raptors try to get him in the 905 system for further development as a 3-and-D weapon (he was All-Defense as a senior at Indianapolis), should he be open to returning to the G League over playing another year overseas.
Codi Miller-McIntyre: A third point guard for the roster, Miller-McIntyre offers something different from the sharpshooters in Potts and Rowsey. At 6-foot-3 with an impressive dunking resume, Miller-McIntyre is much more scorer than shooter. He never shot better than 32.6 percent on threes over four years at Wake Forest and hasn’t touched that mark in two pro seasons in Belgium and Russia, but the lack of an outside shot hasn’t kept him from being a premiere bucket getter. In 34 games last year, he averaged 16 points on 54.4-percent true-shooting, scoring well from the mid-range, at the rim, and at the free-throw line. Synergy Sports graded him as an 89th-percentile isolation scorer in the Russian league, an impressive mark just about anywhere, and he dished nearly eight assists per-game. The Raptors probably won’t be asking him to score a ton on his own given how many talented wings (and NBA investments) they’re bringing to Vegas, so it’s that playmaking growth Miller-McIntyre would be well-served to show off.
Augusto Lima: The pipeline of Brazilian centers carries on! Lima isn’t quite Bebe, but he’s 6-foot-10 and has had a really solid professional career so far. Canadian basketball fans might also remember him putting up strong performances against Canada in the AmeriCup and Tuto Marchand in recent years. At the pro level, Lima’s rights are technically property of Real Madrid but he’s been loaned out for consecutive seasons, first spending 2016-17 under Sarunas Jasikevicius – Lima is the player who left the team for the birth of his child and who Jasikevicius defended vociferously for doing so – with Zalgiris and winning a Lithuanian title in the process (plus getting valuable EuroLeague experience), then splitting 2017-18 between three teams. He finished the year with UCAM Murcia, with whom he won a Spanish championship in 2015-16, and averaged 8.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks in just 19.6 minutes across time in Lithuania, China, and Spain while shooting 58.2 percent.
It’s silly to try to peg things down like this (in terms of depth and what position a lot of these fluid wing/forwards will play), but here’s how the roster shapes up in rough strokes:
PG: Teague, Potts, Rowsey, Miller-McIntyre
SG: Richardson, Alkins, Loyd
SF: Anunoby, Miller, Edwin
PF: McKinnie, Boucher
C: Thompson, Hlinason, Lima