DeAndre Daniels, or as he’s soon to be known, The Draft Rights to DeAndre Daniels, has signed in Italy. The forward will play the 2016-17 season with Pallacanestro Mantovana of the Italian Serie A2 league, the team announced Monday.
This news will come as a surprise to some still hanging on to the hope of Daniels becoming a relevant piece for the Toronto Raptors. Coming right out of the draft, Daniels impressed in Las Vegas, averaging 10 points and 6.2 rebounds in 21.5 minutes, and it was clear why the organization thought his length may translate to the next level. The team’s second-round pick in 2014, Daniels spent what would have been his rookie season in Australia, then missed the bulk of last season with a Jones fracture in his foot. In a brief stint with Raptors 905 at the end of last year and with the parent club in Summer League, Daniels still looked to be working his way back into form and, to be blunt, looked like he would have needed at least a full season at the D-League level before being in the conversation for a training camp invite.
It’s tough to really judge Daniels’ progress since wrapping up at U-Conn, as even his time in Australia was slowed by injury. He averaged 14.8 points and 7.7 rebounds while there and knocked down 34.1 percent of his threes, but he also shot just 39.6 percent overall, and it’s tough to translate those per-game stats from that environment. In his eight appearances with the 905, he averaged 2.9 points and 3.3 rebounds, flashing some nice rebounding and defensive instincts but again shooting poorly at 22.9 percent. He missed the opening game of Summer League with a minor injury, then fell out of the rotation, playing just 15 minutes in the tournament in total, and it seemed he may no longer be in the team’s immediate plans.
The biggest issue appears to be that the injuries he’s dealt with have prevented him from adding the requisite size to become a true combo-forward. A year in Italy to get full-time minutes may be the best thing to help catch him back up to speed, shake off any rust, and continue developing his game. He’s still just 24, so while the book may look closed on him for now, it’s possible he resurfaces as more than just a footnote in a trade, a la DeeAndre Hullett.
For the 905, their roster continues to get thinned out ahead of their second season. Of the players who finished last season on the roster, only three remain unsigned, plus James Siakam, who the team added from the free agent pool late in the year. They also own the returning player rights to three overseas players who are yet to sign deals for the coming season and, most notably, could land up to four players when the Raptors make their training camp cuts. E.J. Singler has agreed to repeat with the 905 if he doesn’t make the parent club, Drew Crawford is almost certainly heading overseas if he doesn’t, and the other three trying out likely fall somewhere in between. The 905 also have five draft picks to use in the draft, though that route doesn’t bare a lot of fruit, and they’re free to add up to four players from their open tryout, plus any from the available D-League player pool.
|Player||Last Season||Years Remaining||Notes|
|E.J. Singler||Raptors 905||2||In camp with Raptors|
|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|
|John Jordan||Raptors 905||2|
|Shannon Scott||Raptors 905||2|
|Ashton Smith||Raptors 905||2|
|Greg Smith||Raptors 905/Minnesota||2|
|James Siakam||Delaware||2||Acquired at end of season|
|Axel Toupane||Raptors 905/Denver||2||In camp with Nuggets|
|Ronald Roberts||Raptors 905||2||Signed in Turkey|
|DeAndre Daniels||Raptors 905||2||Raptors own NBA rights; Signed in Italy|
|Davion Berry||Raptors 905||2||Signed in Greece|
|Michale Kyser||Raptors 905||2||Signed in Lebanon|
|Scott Suggs||Raptors 905||2||Signed in Spain|
|Sim Bhullar||Raptors 905||2||Signed in Taiwan|
|C.J. Leslie||Israel||1||Signed in Cyprus|
|Ramone Moore||Lithuania||1||Signed in Australia|
|Mitchell Watt||Germany/Israel||1||Signed in Italy|