The NBA D-League will be sending all 19 of their teams to Santa Cruz, California. All teams will play two regular season games inside the Kaiser Permanente Arena for their NBA D-League Showcase.
One team that is looking to make an impact is the newly formed Raptors 905 squad.
Throughout the season the players on the Raptors 905 team have shown that they have talent. Their 5-14 record may not sound inspiring, but each game you'll see players that can score, rebound, shoot from deep and much more. Luckily these players can showcase their skills at the NBA D-League showcase.
January 7th at 8:00pm they will squared-off against the Sioux Falls Sky Force and January 9th at 8:00pm against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
The Showcase is very important as many scouts will make the trip down to see all teams play; therefore, for career purposes, players from every team need to bring their A-Game.
From the Raptors 905 squad, there is a wealth of talent. Some players on the 905, in my humble opinion look poised for a future call-up. There are five Raptors 905 players that need to have good NBA showcases, who currently have not been called up by the Toronto Raptors franchise.
1. Greg Smith
DeAndre Daniels and Greg Smith were recently acquired by the Raptors 905 on Tuesday January 5th. While Daniels is still undergoing rehab, due to a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot, Smith played against Sky Force, dropping 15 points in the 98-102 loss.
Smith is a 6’10”forward/centre, with a bulky build and is pretty good in the low post, but his last stint in the NBA with Dallas he produced less than stellar numbers.
In 42 game appearances, he averaged 1.9 points, 1.9 rebounds in 8.6 minutes per game. Smith needs to prove he is a very capable player and the NBA D-League Showcase is a good place to start that. Granted Smith has not been with the team often and that he may not see much court time, however, Smith’s best opportunity to turn heads is now.
2. Sim Bhullar
Sim Bhullar might not see the floor very often at this showcase so this is a bit of a hypothetical, but bear with me. This season, Sim Bhullar has mostly had a bench role with the 905. One of the thing Sim does is allow the 905 guards to lob the ball to him for easy shot due to his 7’5 frame. In addition to that Bhullar has a nice 10-15 foot jumper in his game as well. Any fan who has been to a Raptors 905 know that the 7’5 centre does not miss often and that can be to his advantage.
If Bhullar can catch fire this showcase, as well as clog the paint, then Bhullar might very well see his minutes increase.
3. Ronald Roberts
Anyone who has seen Ronald Roberts Jr. play, knows that Roberts is a beast. Right now he is averaging a sickening 17.8 points and 12.6 rebounds per game. In fact the casual fan is probably surprised Roberts has not been called up by the Raptors.
Maybe it is because he is undersized at 6’8 or because right now the raptors have a pantry full of big men playing well, nevertheless, the fact still remains he cannot be called up so easily yet. Since Roberts is not under contract with the Raptors he cannot be sent down or called up.
"Yet" is the operative word because if Roberts continues to out muscle everyone, he might be setting himself up for a potential call-up for any organization.
4. Scott Suggs
Scott Suggs is quickly turning into a Raptors 905 fan favourite. Suggs has proved that he deserves a shot in the NBA, an opportunity that he desperately wants. His silky smooth jumpshot, craftiness and impressive basketball IQ has allowed him to have a breakout season with the 905. He is currently averaging 17.7 points per game and is shooting a fantastic 41.5 percent from beyond the arc. Suggs, like any other player, does have some warts in his game that do make some scouts think, however, Suggs only needs one scout to give him an opportunity and if he catches fire this showcase, I am confident scouts will seriously look at Suggs.
5. Keanau Post
The Raptors 905 glue guy has had a bit of a rough patch in his last couple of games. It could be lingering ankle problems or just an inexplicable rough patch but in the 4 games, Post has been ineffective. If Post can do what he does best for this team, he not only can break out of his slump but he can also get some scouts attention in the process.
If there were any Raptors 905 players who you think need to catch fire at the NBA D-League Showcase, comment or let Fan-I Sports know or Twitter @fanisports