This year’s Toronto Raptors NBA Summer League team is going to be fun to watch. The 15-man squad consisting of Lucas Nogueira, Bruno Caboclo, DeAndre Daniels, Dwight Buycks, Myck Kabongo, Chris Daniels, Sam Dower, Scott Machado, T.J. Bray, John Shurna, Darington Hobson, Eli Holman, Malcolm Lee, Doron Lamb and Hassan Whiteside kicks off with a 10 am practice on July 8 at Del Sol High School and plays their first game against the Lakers on Friday, July 11th 6 pm ET at the COX Pavilion.
The 7’ Nogueira tore up Summer League with the Hawks last year blocking everything in sight and with another year under his belt in Spain’s ACB league where he was named the top defensive player, he’s poised to be even more imposing to those unfortunate want-to-bes in Las Vegas this time.
The 18-year-old Caboclo 7’6 wingspan is just as long as Nogueira and this very young talent will have his moments in Summer League. His inexperience will undoubtedly show, but so will his length to grab unexpected steals and block shots. As an unknown quantity, it will probably take a while before the other teams figure out this kid really does have NBA three-point range as well.
DeAndre Daniels is fighting for an NBA job and this is really his only shot to convince Raptors GM Masai Ujiri to keep him in Toronto next season. An NCAA champion, this small forward taken in the second round of the draft isn’t going away without a fight.
After last summer Buycks knows he is auditioning for all 30 NBA teams in Summer League and the 2013 French Pro A League MVP point guard is showcasing his skills for more than just the Raptors and the rest of the NBA. He wowed them last summer and a decent payday for Buycks could come from anywhere in the world next season.
The Canadian point guard Kabongo came out a year too early, went undrafted and needed to do a lot of work on his game. He had a good season in the NBA D-League with Austin averaging 9.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists while proving he can make the NBA three-point shot with some consistency. His college freshman promise may be starting to show through.
The 30-year-old 6’9 Chris Daniels has spent the last three years in the NBA D-League where he has averaged about 2 blocks per game. The Raptors Summer League is setup to swat shots.
Undrafted Gonzaga Senior Dower is an undersized center that can score and potentially stretch the floor.
Machado broke out as a double-double point guard in the up-tempo Iona offense as a Senior, however, he only got a cup of coffee with the Rockets and has spent most of the past two seasons in the D-League. The Raptors want their third string point guard to be able to run an up-tempo system, so he’s worth a look.
The Princeton Senior Bray has his fans, unfortunately, they weren’t at the draft. The first team Ivy leaguer was a productive scorer, rebounder and facilitator and had some of his best games against big name opponents. The 6’6 guard averaged 18.1 points and 40.8 percent from three last season, just assume he’s smart with a solid basketball I.Q.
The 6’10 Shurna averaged 11.7 points and 37.9 percent from deep for Joventut in Spain last season.
Hobson had a cup of coffee with the Bucks a couple of years ago and spent last season in the NBA D-League.
Undersized big man Holman is bringing his 7’ 4.5” wingspan in for another look after going undrafted in 2012.
The 43rd overall draft pick by the Bulls in 2011, Lee played in 35 games for the Timberwolves over two seasons between 2011 and 2013.
Lamb was recently waived by the Orlando Magic. The second year guard shot over 40 percent from three-point range in 77 games with the Magic over the past two seasons.
Whiteside averaged over 5 blocks per game with Marshall and was drafted 33rd overall by the Kings in 2010. He played a total of 19 games with the Kings in the NBA. Whiteside did average 3 blocks and 18.9 minutes with Reno in the NBA D-League in 2011-2012. In 2012-2013, he averaged 2 blocks and 10.5 minutes with Rio Grande Valley over 29 games.
This Raptors Summer League team is going to feature lots of shot blocking and three-point shots. It will be fun to watch.