As confirmed this morning by Keith Smith, the Raptors are planning to sign their latest draft pick, Jalen Harris, to fill the team’s second two-way contract slot. As the 59th pick in the 2020 Draft, it makes sense to “stash” Harris there for now, and it clears a roster spot for the return of Oshae Brissett, who — in my books anyway — is favoured to come out of training camp as the Raptors’ 15th man. The mention of a multi-year deal for Oshae seems to confirm that feeling.
Anyway, here’s the report from Smith:
Per league sources: The Toronto Raptors have signed Oshae Brissett to a multi-year contract. Toronto has also signed second round pick Jalen Harris to a Two-Way contract.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) November 30, 2020
To remind: Harris is a 22-year-old shooting guard out of Nevada, listed at 6’3” (without shoes) and 195 pounds. He’s known as a scorer, which is a skill the Raptors could use, but it’s obviously a lot to ask for him to join the team and contribute right away. For now, look for Harris to learn the ropes behind the cadre of skilled and established Raptors guards.
This is not earth-shaking news, perhaps, but it clarifies some of the smaller roster management issues the Raptors have been straightening out before training camp opens tomorrow. With Harris on a two-way deal, Toronto now has both of those spots filled — Paul Watson Jr., who showed some skills during the Bubble, is the second two-way player for the Raptors. That gives them a full roster, plus a few more players to compete for spots in training camp. (So many players, in fact, that Dewan Hernandez, the team’s previous second round pick is now off the team.)
As we discussed last week, Toronto plans to bring in three players — Henry Ellenson, Yuta Watanabe, Alize Johnson — to get them to 20 players for camp. Theoretically they’ll compete with Brissett for the team’s 15th spot or a role on the Raptors 905, their G League squad. Given the Raptors’ need for power foward help — Chris Boucher is the team’s only quasi-backup at that position — it seems like Brissett is a natural fit for the spot, even if he is merely the backup to the backup. Oshae flashed some skills last year as a defender and shooter, but it remains to be seen how he’s improved for this coming season.
Not that this is set in stone, but for now: these are your 2020-21 Raptors. We’ll get into the various tiers of players on the team later today. Then training camp opens tomorrow and from there we’ll see how things shake out for opening day on December 22nd.