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Dial 905: Raptors 905 announce their 2022-2023 season roster

Meet your 2022-2023 Raptors 905 team!

Utah Jazz v Toronto Raptors Photo by Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images

The Raptors 905 finalized their opening night roster for this upcoming season as the team gears up for the start of the Showcase Cup tournament this Saturday, as they open up against the Capital City Go-Go in Washington, DC (a game they won in exhilarating, come-from-behind fashion!).

The 12-man roster released by the Raptors 905 features a lot of new names but also has notable, familiar names sprinkled in to shore up the lineup. Expect the Toronto Raptors’ 2-Way contract players, Jeff Dowtin Jr. and Ron Harper Jr., to be heavily featured on this roster, despite a stacked backcourt. The lack of size in the middle opens up all the minutes for Christian Koloko should the main club decide to send him down for seasoning.

Raptors 905’s Opening Night Roster

David Johnson remains the youngest on the roster at 21 years old, while new 905er Melvin Frazier is the oldest at 26. Frazier’s been in the NBA the longest, and the highest draft selection at 35th, but Saben Lee’s got more than twice as many NBA games under his belt at 85.

The Raptors 905 will likely have Reggie Perry and Kenny Wooten Jr. manning the middle unless Christian Koloko receives an assignment. The team is heavy on the backcourt, with Jeff Dowtin Jr., Saben Lee, Christian Vital, and David Johnson likely sharing the backcourt minutes.

The Raptors 905 will also have an entirely new coaching staff with the departure of coach Patrick Mutombo. Eric Khoury takes the head coaching gig this season after spending the past season as one of coach Nick Nurse’s assistant coaches. Khoury has experience with the Raptors 905, as he was an assistant coach under coach Jama Mahlalela for a couple of years. Christian Siakam, Pascal Siakam’s older brother, will also join Khoury’s coaching staff.

Roster Breakdown

New Faces

Kenny Wooten Jr., F

Age: 24

Height: 6’9”

Draft Year: 2019 (Undrafted)

Most notable stint: New York Knicks/Westchester Knicks ‘20

Wow, that’s a name that I haven’t heard in a while. Kenny Wooten Jr.’s size, athleticism, length, and activity made the New York Knicks drool when he was signed as a two-way contract player two years ago. It’s hard to blame them, as Wooten Jr.’s probably got the best highlight package in the NBA G League. Unfortunately, the highlights pretty much show what he can do.

Wooten Jr. is a vertical thread on both ends of the court. He’s a lob threat around the dunker’s spot and has decent hands to catch the ball on the roll. His hops remind me of Kenyon Martin and Shawn Marion, both pogo sticks with their fast-twitch jumping ability. Wooten Jr.’s vertical rim protection is elite but requires more discipline as an overall defender. He relies on his physical gifts to chase blocks up in the air, often allowing the shooter to attempt a shot. I can’t blame him; he’s THAT athletic.

Melvin Frazier, G

Age: 26

Height: 6’5”

Draft Year: 2018 (2nd Rd, 35th)

Most notable stint: Orlando Magic dark ages

Melvin Frazier is a former 2nd-round pick by the Orlando Magic but failed to make an impression. He landed with the OKC Thunder’s farm team and was eventually rewarded with a two-way contract late last season. The Thunder did not retain him, as they had to make room for all the picks at their disposal. Frazier managed to get on the Minnesota Timberwolves Summer League team but saw limited minutes.

Frazier is a bucket-getter at the G League level, an adequate three-level scorer, and has a knack for making difficult shots. He’s ok with not having the ball in his hands all the time, as he can be a good catch-and-shoot option around the perimeter.

Christian Vital, G

Age: 25

Height: 6’2”

Draft Year: 2020 (Undrafted)

Most notable stint: Hamilton Honey Badgers (chip!)

With Aaron Best, Ashton Hagans, and Breein Tyree out of the picture, the Raptors 905 turn to Christian Vital as a pesky point-of-attack defender. Despite his size, his ability to force turnovers via drawn charges and steals made him an intriguing prospect coming out of UConn. He’s a bit of a throwback 2000’s combo guard - a volume and inefficient scorer.

NBA G League Draft

Devon Daniels, G

Age: 24

Height: 6’5”

Draft Year: 2021 (Undrafted)

Most notable stint: NC State

Devon Daniels was on his way to a productive senior season with NC State back in the 2020-2021 season, but a torn ACL ended his season prematurely. As a senior, Daniels averaged 16.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. He was drafted 20th overall by the Raptors 905 and was the lone draftee to make the team. Daniels should provide perimeter shooting to this team, a skill set that might be a little bit short given the current roster construct.

Returning Players

Obadiah Noel, G

Age: 23

Height: 6’4”

Draft Year: 2021 (Undrafted)

Most notable stint: Raptors 905

Obadiah Noel is one of the two Raptors 905 returnees this season, and he should provide depth with his versatility to shift between the guard/wing positions. Noel’s had an up-and-down season with the Raptors 905 last season with injuries and inconsistent minutes but has shown a great deal when given the opportunity.

Noel’s defense and acrobatic plays will electrify the crowd, but he’ll need to improve his perimeter shooting to keep his rotation spot. He shot 28.6% during the showcase and 23.2% during the regular season from behind the arc, which is a surprise, considering his best game as a professional happened when he dropped 28 points on 6-for-7 from the perimeter against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Reggie Perry, F

Age: 22

Height: 6’8”

Draft Year: 2020 (2nd Rd, 57th)

Most notable stint: Portland Trail Blazers ‘22

Reggie Perry parlayed an excellent Raptors 905 campaign last season to earn call-ups from the Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers gave him his first consistent rotation minutes, and he showed up, averaging 10 points and five rebounds in almost 20 minutes per game. He was on the Los Angeles Clippers’ 2022 Summer League team but failed to make the roster.

With the Raptors 905 last season, Perry blossomed and showcased his midrange and a developing face-up/perimeter game. He also had reps handling the ball, similar to how any Raptor bigs who grabs the rebound can initiate the offense. Perry will be one of the top bigs waiting for the call-up in the NBA G League, and he’ll have to keep working on his bag with the Raptors 905 while waiting for that opportunity.

Familiar Faces

Gabe Brown, F

Age: 22

Height: 6’7”

Draft Year: 2022 (Undrafted)

Most notable stint: Toronto Raptors Preseason ‘22

Gabe Brown was one of the most intriguing players that the Raptors signed to a training camp deal this summer. He parlayed a successful Summer League with OKC Thunder to a Raptors’ exhibit 10 contract, and his skill set stood out during the preseason. The lefty shooter didn’t get a lot of minutes, but when he did, he came on the court ready and willing to pull the trigger the moment he touched the ball.

Ryan Hawkins, F

Age: 25

Height: 6’7”

Draft Year: 2022 (Undrafted)

Most notable stint: Toronto Raptors Summer League ‘22

Ryan Hawkins is a decorated DII collegiate, and he parlayed that into a successful senior season at Creighton. Hawkins played on the Raptors’ Summer League team, scoring 7.67 points, including two trifectas per game. His size and shooting make him an interesting prospect, given the NBA teams’ thirst for shooters to shore up their roster.

David Johnson, G

Age: 21

Height: 6’4”

Draft Year: 2021 (2nd Rd, 47th)

Most notable stint: Toronto Raptors/Raptors 905

David Johnson was one of the Raptors’ 2nd round picks and made the team via a two-way contract last season. Inconsistent production and injuries led to the main club from moving on and not renewing his contract, but he remains of interest to the team. Johnson will likely have a similar role on the team, acting as a secondary facilitator and likely the 3rd or 4th option whenever he’s on the floor. Only this time, he’ll have to make a bigger dent and force coach Khoury to play him more despite not having the priority lane that two-way contract players would normally have.

I wrote his 2021-2022 Season Review here.

Saben Lee, G

Age: 23

Height: 6’4”

Draft Year: 2020 (2nd rd, 38th)

Most notable stint: Detroit Pistons

Saben Lee was a former 2nd-round pick by the Detroit Pistons but was traded to Utah Jazz this summer along with Kelly Olynyk for Bojan Bogdanovic. Lee was a victim of a roster crunch in Utah and was signed to the Phoenix Suns’ training camp roster but failed to earn a roster spot.

Lee had an uneventful Pistons stint, while his G League stint with Motor City cruise showed he could produce as a volume shooter with the ball in his hands. However, his efficiency and perimeter shooting remain a lot to be desired.

Raptors Two-Way Contract Players

Jeff Dowtin Jr., G

Age: 25

Height: 6’3”

Draft Year: 2020 (Undrafted)

Most notable stint: Orlando Magic/Lakeland Magic

Dowtin Jr. should have the keys to the Raptors 905 offense, and based on his 20.9 points, 6.6 assists, and 43.2% perimeter shooting with the Lakeland Magic and Wisconsin Herd, it makes a whole lot of sense. There’s no path to playing time with the main club even if Fred VanVleet continues to miss time, as the other guards ahead of him on the depth chart (Dalano Banton and Malachi Flynn) could barely get off the bench.

What to look for: Dowtin Jr. is at a point where he’s pretty much shown what he’s capable of offensively down in the minors, and the next step to his potential development relies on getting consistent NBA minutes. While that’s not going to happen any time soon, it’s a matter of keeping that iron sharp so that he’s ready to impress when his number gets called. Perhaps gun for the MVP, as the Raptors reward such accolades (Lorenzo Brown and Chris Boucher).

Ron Harper Jr., G

Age: 22

Height: 6’5”

Draft Year: 2022 (Undrafted)

Most notable stint: Taking down #1 Purdue via a game-winner

Harper Jr.’s rookie campaign resume still needs to be completed on page 1, as there needs to be more to see based on his Summer League and Preseason stints. Sure, he’s shown flashes here and there, and he’ll need an outlet where he can showcase his skills, and that’s going to happen with something other than the main club.

What to look for: Harper Jr.’s listed as a guard on the Raptors 905’s roster, and his ticket to the NBA is to transform his body and his game into a full-fledged 3-D wing player. Unlike Dowtin Jr., Harper Jr. will face some competition, with Gabe Brown, Ryan Hawkins, David Johnson, and Obadiah Noel overlapping his skills and position. While he could be a productive PF at the G League level, he’ll need shooting and shot-creation skills as a wing to get a look with the main club.

Depth Chart

Here’s the projected Raptors 905 depth chart. Christian Koloko will likely spend time with the Raptors 905 on a part-time basis, while Jeff Dowtin Jr., Ron harper Jr., and Justin Champagnie will likely spend their season in the minors. The team is also loaded in the backcourt, and it doesn’t make sense for the Raptors to send Dalano Banton and Malachi Flynn down there, as they need more NBA reps at this point of their career.

Projected Raptors 905 roster depth chart