While it felt like Jordan Loyd was a shoe-in for the Raptors’ roster, both as the leader of the 905 G League squad and as an ascendant NBA guard, it appears as though that was not quite the case. In fact, reports were in this past Friday afternoon that Toronto and Loyd have mutually agreed to part ways.
The Raptors have waived Jordan Loyd. The team is framing it as a mutual parting of ways, which makes sense - Loyd was about to enter year two of a 2-way contract, and this allows him to seek other opportunities.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) August 2, 2019
As Blake mentions there, it’s the Raptors doing the frame work here, but the narrative is not difficult to suss out for both sides. Loyd was heading into year two as a two-way contract player for the Raptors. In his first NBA season, he played in just 12 games for the team — though he’ll be forever immortalized in Toronto — to little fanfare. What’s more, as the team’s locked in third guard (at best) behind Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet (but presumably ahead of Cameron Payne), there remained no path to more minutes for Loyd in the coming 2019-20 season. At 26 years old, it was not unreasonable for him to look for bigger opportunities elsewhere.
This outcome is something of a shame, because, well, while with the 905, Loyd was the man. Yes, Chris Boucher got the G League MVP and Defensive Player of the Year award, but it was Loyd who led the team. Read any of our 905 coverage over the past season and that much is clear. When the 905 needed scoring, Loyd did what he could to provide it; when the squad needed someone to distribute, he was there; when defense was called for, you could bet that Loyd would be digging in to get things done. His appearances in NBA garbage time weren’t much to go on, but Loyd was never a bad guy to have around the organization.
Which of course means it’s good Loyd is getting a chance to play — and to earn some bigger money for his efforts. That’s the happy ending here, and that’s just how quickly the free agency news comes together to make sense. Almost immediately after getting waived by Toronto: Loyd is set to head to Spain.
Good luck overseas, Jordan. (And hopefully you got a chance to talk to Marc Gasol to get the inside scoop on Espana.)
As for the Raptors, now we’ll wait and see what, if anything, they’ll do with that newly opened 20th roster spot before training camp. And who, if anyone, could jump into one of the team’s two-way contracts.