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Report: Raptors adding Deng Adel for training camp


The Toronto Raptors are adding undrafted free agent Deng Adel to the mix ahead of the start of training camp on Sept. 25.

Originally committed to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Adel changed course and will join the Raptors on a partially guaranteed deal, according to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic. Raptors Republic has learned that the deal is an Exhibit 10 contract.

As a refresher, an Exhibit 10 contract is a non-guaranteed one-year deal at the minimum that can theoretically allow a player to make the team outright. Given that the Raptors have 14 players with substantial guarantees and are deep into the tax, their crop of Exhibit 10s are likely competing for other roles – an Exhibit 10 deal can be converted to a two-way contract, and failing that, if a player is waived and agrees to join Raptors 905 as an affiliate player, they’ll receive a $50,000 bonus to supplement the G League salary.

Here’s how the roster stands at present, with just one slot open (likely for another Exhibit 10 or two-way):

Guaranteed NBA contracts: 13 (Lowry, VanVleet, Wright, Green, Powell, Richardson, Leonard, Miles, Anunoby, Siakam, Valanciunas, Ibaka, Monroe)
Partially guaranteed NBA contracts: 1 (Brown)
Exhibit 10 contracts: 4 (Adel, Collinsworth, Boucher, Felder; can have up to 6)
Two-way contracts: 1 (Loyd; can have up to 2)
Total roster spots: 19 (can have up to 20)

The first thing you’ll notice about Adel is that he’s not a point guard, which is a little different then just about everybody else they have in camp. A 6-foot-7, 200-pound forward out of Louisville, Adel was actually mocked to be a second-round pick at one point by Draft Express but eventually slid out of the top 60 once again. By the time draft night rolled around, multiple outlets had him ranked within their top 100 (including Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress/ESPN, Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated, and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic), but only Cole Zwicker of The Stepien had him within draft range (at No. 59) of the rankings RR looked at prior to the draft. All told, he averaged out as the No. 104 prospect on composite.

There’s more to like about his game than that standing may suggest, though, and even at age 22 there’s a belief there’s some upside to tap into. Born in South Sudan and raised in Australia, Adel didn’t begin playing basketball until he was 14, moving to the United States for his junior and senior high school seasons. He improved dramatically across his three seasons at Louisville, starting out as a small-minute role player and eventually growing to where he averaged 15 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists as a junior this year, even hitting 35 percent on a moderate volume of college 3-point attempts.

How that shot extends to NBA range with a larger sample will likely determine his ceiling and whether he can eventually fill a versatile 3-and-D role that he fits as in a “best case” on paper. He handles the ball fairly well for a lanky wing, should score well in transition, and has a clean shooting motion (and hit 77.6 percent on free throws over three years, an encouraging rate). At the same time, he’ll need that shot since his half-court game may struggle against better and stronger defenders at the next level – he’s well built but doesn’t appear to be a huge fan of contact or banging on the glass – and he probably won’t be free to take the mid-range pull-ups that make up the flashiest part of his game. There’s also the question of just how good he can be defensively, as he posted modest steal and block rates and sometimes looked a step slow for quicker perimeter players, even though he’s a good athlete.

All told, Adel has more than enough tools to make him an enticing development prospect. He also looked fairly comfortable with the Houston Rocket sat Las Vegas Summer League, shooting 57.9 percent overall and hitting five of his seven 3-point attempts over four games. He should be at least a solid defender and somewhat of an outside threat, and if his pick-and-roll game and lateral quickness can come along, it’s not hard to see him becoming a real prospect. It’s not often that 3-and-D wings boast being able to score at three levels for a high-end college program, and so even if that comes with caveats, he’s worth exploring.

The Raptors can still add one more body to fight for a roster spot or two-way deal in the coming days.