Who would have guessed Aug. 24 would be a busy Raptors 905 news day? Not only did the Toronto Raptors sign E.J. Singler to a training camp deal with the understanding he’ll suit up for Raptors 905 if he fails to make the team and clears waivers, the 905 also lost a pair of players in the D-League expansion draft and Raptors Republic learned that they quietly added a fun name in the offseason. More on that in a second.
Raptors lose Post & Bost in expansion draft
Today marked the D-League expansion draft, where the league’s three new teams chose their initial rosters from the unprotected players on other rosters around the league. The 905 were able to protect up to 10 players or returning player rights, and in the end “only” lost two players, but that’s a fair share considering 36 names were selected from the league’s 19 existing franchises.
The Greensboro Swarm selected Keanau Post in the ninth round of the expansion draft, closing the book on a really fun story. Post earned an invite to training camp out of open tryouts last summer, then made the team from there, a bit of a surprise for the 23-year-old British Columbia native. While he didn’t play a ton throughout the year, the team appreciated the defensive communication he brought to the center position, and his role briefly expanded when the 905 were thinned out by injuries and call-ups. He finished the season averaged 2.8 points and 2.4 blocks in 11.5 minutes over 36 appearances, shooting 58.2 percent from the floor and even starting 10 games.
In the 12th round of the draft, the Swarm selected the returning player rights to Dee Bost, whom the 905 selected in the expansion draft last season. The 26-year-old opted to spend the season in Poland instead of the D-League, where he averaged 10.4 points and 4.1 assists over 62 games, including 10 EuroLeague appearances. He’s presently signed with AS Monaco in France’s top league, the LNB Pro A.
905 used expansion draft well, even without on-court contributions
It’s interesting to look back at the 905’s own expansion draft from a year ago. The 905 selected the rights to 16 players, only one of whom played for them (Scott Suggs, who was a really important piece). Outside of Suggs, the 905 used the rights they drafted to make other moves, trading rights to eight of their expansion picks for a combination of players and draft picks.
|Dee Bost||lost in expansion draft|
|Earl Clark||for 2016 3rd (since dealt)|
|Abdul Gaddy||with 2016 3rd for Davion Berry|
|Luke Harangody||for John Jordan|
|Dahntay Jones||for 2016 2nd|
|Kevin Jones||with 2015 2nd, 2016 1st for Ronald Roberts, 2016 3rd|
|Ricky Ledo||for Sim Bhullar|
|Nolan Smith||with 2015 1st for 2015 1st & 2nd|
|Scott Suggs||Played for 905|
|Ty Walker||for 2016 4th (3-team trade)|
Want to follow in Post’s footsteps?
The 905 are holding open tryouts once again this year. You’ll have the chance to be just like Post and Ashton Smith on Sept. 10, assuming you shell out $225 and impress the coaching staff.
Raptors acquire James Siakam
Yes, that James Siakam, the brother of their No. 27 overall pick, Pascal Siakam. What’s interesting about this move is that it actually preceded the Siakam draft pick – the 905 added James’ rights from the available player pool at the end of last season, Raptors Republic has learned, as a means of adding additional roster depth ahead of the expansion draft.
The Siakam family produced four NCAA players, Boris, Christian, James, and Pascal. Pascal is the first to make it to the NBA, but James had a solid five-year career as a high-energy forward at Vanderbilt, averaging 9.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks while shooting 62.7 percent as a senior in 2014-15. He then made the Delaware 87ers out of camp, playing five games with them before getting waived. When nobody signed him the rest of the way, the 24-year-old was available for the 905 to scoop up.
Now, whether he winds up making the team or playing much is yet to be seen, but there’s still a lot of D-League offseason left. If he does, it’ll at least be nice for Pascal to have some family close by.
905 roster update
After the loss of Post and Bost and with the addition of Siakam, here’s how the 905’s roster looks in terms of the player rights they own.
|Player||Last Season||Years Remaining||Notes|
|Davion Berry||Raptors 905||2||Signed in Greece|
|Sim Bhullar||Raptors 905||2|
|DeAndre Daniels||Raptors 905||2||Raptors own NBA rights|
|John Jordan||Raptors 905||2|
|Michale Kyser||Raptors 905||2|
|Shannon Scott||Raptors 905||2|
|James Siakam||Delaware||2||Acquired at end of season|
|E.J. Singler||Raptors 905||2||In camp with Raptors|
|Ashton Smith||Raptors 905||2|
|Scott Suggs||Raptors 905||2|
|Yanick Moreira||Spain/France||0||Potential Affiliate Player|
|Jarrod Uthoff||NCAA||0||Potential Affiliate Player|
|Fred VanVleet||NCAA||0||Potential Affiliate Player|
|Drew Crawford||Israel||1||Rights owned by Erie; in camp|
It’s probably not fair to assume VanVleet and Uthoff would necessarily head to the 905 if they don’t make the Raptors out of camp, but each received a $50,000 guarantee that, on the surface, looks like a potential supplement to a D-League salary. Moreira seems a likely bet to be tabbed as an affiliate player, too, while Crawford would probably head overseas if he doesn’t make the Raptors. Even if he opted for the D-League, the 905 would have to acquire his rights from Erie. But I list him here just in case.
The 905 will also be able to add talent through the draft, although that wasn’t a particularly fruitful path for them last year (not a single player they picked ended the season on the team). As a result, the 905 have been aggressive acquiring and trading picks, leaving their stash of picks a little back-loaded, if not thin overall.
|1||None||Ronald Roberts trade|
|2||Grand Rapids||Dahantay Jones trade, EJ Singler trade|
|3||None||Davion Berry trade|
|4||Own, Bakersefield, Texas||Ty Walker trade, Melvin Johnson III trade|
The draft will likely take place in late October (I can’t find a firm date). The 905 season opens on Nov. 18.Follow @raptorsrepublic