Over just the past week, the Raptors have added three new players to the team via the NBA Draft, waived four other players, and also signed-and-traded only their franchise cornerstone and the greatest player in franchise history. It’s been a lot — but the NBA does not stop. As of today, Toronto is moving on and has officially released its Las Vegas Summer League schedule, featuring some of those aforementioned new players.
Here’s how the 2021 squad is shaking out for the Raptors (with their full Vegas schedule here):
Some names on this list will likely jump out more than the others. First, some of the familiar parties: fresh off of appearing in the Tokyo Olympics, Yuta Watanabe will be with the Raptors as the most experienced albeit the second-oldest player on the team. (The recently added Ishmail Wainwright is the squad’s oldest player.) He’ll be joined by sophomores Malachi Flynn and Freddie Gillespie, who each showed some ability last season but could use some seasoning.
Second, of course, are Toronto’s 2021 NBA draft picks — of which there is no shortage of interest and intrigue. Scottie Barnes joins the Raptors as the fourth overall pick (controversially selected over Jalen Suggs) with much to show off — and, quite frankly, to prove. Then there’s Dalano Banton, he of 45 Kipling bus fame, who’s been taking Barnes around the sights of Toronto (what a good teammate already!). And don’t forget David Johnson and the recently signed (on a two-way contract) Justin Champagnie, who will both be looking to stick around the Raptors if not the G League 905.
Speaking of which, this whole crew will be coached by 905 head coach Patrick Mutombo, who will take the lead for the first time in Las Vegas. His task will be to get this squad up-to-speed quick: the Raptors play the New York Knicks on August 8th — which is just three days away. Good luck Pat, and to the whole team!