The Capital City Go Go are officially a G League team for the 2018-19 season, kicking their inaugural year off with an Expansion Draft on Wednesday. The draft allowed the existing G League teams to protect the returning player rights to 12 players, and the Go Go would be able to select 14 players from the remaining pool, with no more than two coming from any one team. As luck would have it, Raptors 905 did not lose anyone in the draft.
In preparation for the draft, I updated the Raptors 905 rights sheet that I post on occasion as the roster gets filled out this year, so while *not* losing anyone is not news, I figured it was worth a quick post to see what the 905 are looking like heading into 2018-19 and what pieces new general manager Chad Sanders may have to work with.
It’s still a little early to get a sense of the roster, as the Toronto Raptors have only signed one two-way player and a pair of Exhibit 10 deals. Jordan Loyd will be with the 905 as a combo-guard, and if neither makes the NBA team and both accept G League Affiliate Player status, Kay Felder and Chris Boucher could provide a heck of a starting point to build from. Malachi Richardson figures to see some time on assignment in his third season, as well, as his path to NBA playing time is quite cluttered.
Outside of the NBA presence, none of the rights the 905 hold are confirmed to be coming back to the G League. The following table shows every player the 905 still had rights to during 2017-18, how many years of rights the 905 now hold on them, and what their status is for next season, if it’s been determined. Eight players from last year’s team that made the finals remain without a home and another four from 2016-17’s championship team are unsigned, but again, all this means is that if the player returned to the G League, the 905 would hold their rights; they’re under no obligation to go the G League route again.
With small G League salaries even with the increase to $35,000 this year (plus a $50,000 bonus for Exhibit 10s who remain with the team long enough), most of these players can make more overseas and, if there’s not a clear path to an NBA call-up, may opt to continue their development and careers on the international scene. It would be surprising to see more than three or four returners, with the open tryouts and draft – the 905 have an extra third-round pick this year but don’t select until 25th overall in the first round – likely filling a few spots.
Open tryouts for the team take place in mid-September and the draft is slated for Oct. 20. Between those two events and the parent club Raptors filling out their roster with Exhibit 10s and a second two-way player, the 905 roster should begin to take shape relatively soon.