In the G-League roster turnover is considerable. Getting a handful of players back from one season to the next is considered good. Rebuilding the roster with quality players is crucial, and there’s often no better way to do it then through the G-League draft.
The Raptors 905 drafted four players this off-season, although only one actually made the roster: the team’s first round draft pick Kethan Savage, a four-year collegiate player who spent three of them at George Washington before transferring to Butler for his senior year.
“It was just a better opportunity for me positionally,“ said Savage on the switch. ”It was time to make a change and play more of a point guard position, and the type of offense at George Washington didn’t showcase my offensive abilities the best. So I felt Butler was a better spot.”
After he transferred, Savage started 11 games at Butler and averaged 20.4 minutes per game while adding 8.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists while shooting 44.3 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from three. Overall those numbers don’t exactly pop off the page, but Savage brings a lot to the table for the 905 this season nonetheless.
“I’m an athletic guard. I can play the 1 or the 2 [point guard or shooting guard] and can help out both ends,” said Savage. “I’m scrappy and can get to the rim and can try to knock out some open shots.”
Following his college career, Savage had a decision to make: head to the G-League or go overseas. To many the decision is a hard one. The G-League may be closer to home (and the NBA), but international league money tends to be greater (along with the culture shock). According to Savage, there was really only one option for him and that was the G-League. “I knew all along that I was going to do the G-League route.”
With Savage’s path set, what followed was a summer of workouts and player invitationals. Leading up the G-League draft, the 905 showed some interest in potentially selecting Savage. “They had been talking to my agent a decent amount,” he confirmed. “I went to Chicago and did my thing out there in the G-League Combine and it just kinda piqued their interest.”
Luckily for Savage, he didn’t have to wait long on draft night to hear his name being called. The 905 selected him with the final pick of the first round at number 26. “It was great,” said Savage. “I was sitting there with my family watching it and it popped up on the screen and my mom went crazy and a couple minutes before a guy from the team called me and it was a great feeling.”
Like most G-League players, Savage is hoping to use the league to get to the NBA. And also like most G-League players, he believes he is almost there. “I want to get to the next level,” he said. “My goal has always been the NBA and this is a stepping stone to that.”
Starting on November 5th, when the 905 take the court for the first time, Savage will get to take that first step.