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NBA D-League Mississauga Raptors 905 Walter Edy Tavares

Raptors 905 May Have A Gem in 7’3 Edy Tavares

Edy Tavares missed the start of the Raptors 905 season, but longer he’s been there, the bigger the impact he’s had. In his last two games, Tavares has averaged 17 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 2 blocks in 23.5 minutes while shooting 80 percent from the field. The 905 may just have a gem in the mobile 7’3 center.

“I am trying to be more aggressive on offense,” Tavares told Pro Bball Report. “My game comes on both sides on defense and offense. On offense I take my time and try to read the game.”

Walter Samuel Tavares Da Veiga a.k.a Edy Tavares of Cape Verde didn’t pick up a basketball until he was “discovered” at 17-years-old, but he picked the game up faster than expected and was playing in the Spanish ACB league when the Hawks drafted him in the second round of the 2014 NBA draft.

Tavares played in 11 games with Atlanta last season and was a late cut this year and the Hawks may live to regret not having a D-League affiliate he could join. Last season he was bounced around between three different D-League teams as a Hawks property and after the Hawks released him this year he landed with Toronto’s affiliate.

Tavares was getting noticed for his ability to rebound and block shots in Spain and he showed a lot more of that through 29 D-League games last year. Between the Austin Spurs, Canton Charge and Bakersfield Jam he averaged 9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 3.3 blocks in 21.6 minutes and it wasn’t easy learning to play NBA rules with three different organizations.

“I was all over the place,” Tavares said. “I had to figure out the rules, the systems and everything.”

His arrival in Mississauga in November after the season had started was just as hectic. “I had to learn like a 100 different things, total different (from) basketball. I (will) try to learn quick and be comfortable.”

Tavares was hard not to notice in his first 905 game, blocking 3 shots and grabbing 7 boards in 15 minutes of action when he basically didn’t know any of the 905 schemes. He followed that up with a 4 block effort two games later.

However, he’s already shown that there is more to his game than just rim protection and dunks. He can run the floor and has a midrange jump shot that’s promising.

“I like to play right around the basket, but I can shoot the midrange shot,” Tavares said. “I am trying to work on different things on offense.”

Tavares was drafted on size and potential and the 24-year-old still shows plenty of both. He’ll be a player to watch in the D-League this season.



Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.