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Friday, 4 December 2020

In Development #RPTZFLZ

With the start of a new training camp comes new names, a lot of these names will crack the Raptors roster and a few will make up the roster of the Raptors 905.

This season players who would've been placed on the minor league roster will be thrown directly into the fire but I wanna take a look at the players the Raptors might be able to gain from in the future when the Raptors 905 season starts.

In Yuta Watanabe, the willingness to defend is there and the offensive capability is there, the key thing missing is an adherence to a defined skillset.  What should he do when he gets the ball?  Is he more comfortable with a mid-range jumper?  Is he a slasher?  His career has seen him do a little bit of both but not enough to be reliable at each.  With the Raptors 905, I imagine they'll try to get him to develop at the four who can spell for the likes of Pascal Siakam.  He'll have to work on physicality and his three-point shot but adding low post versatility would make him a more valuable asset.

I really like that Jalen Harris can find his own mid-range shot.  The Raptors won't though.  The Raptors are really high on the three-point shot, and I don't think that will be an issue for him as the college game, especially for seniors, tends to breed mid-range shooting guards who are capable of shooting the three even though college coaches aren't fond of them.  He's a great physical player, he's great at using his body, so he'll be able to take a charge and finish and draw fouls in the process.  I would imagine that getting used to guarding shorter, quicker guards in the NBA would be the part of his game they're going to want him to be efficient at.

Very raw size and athleticism define the qualities Alize Johnson brings to the team.  I don't think the Raptors will want him to do more than be reliable on the free-throw line, rebound, and defend on the perimeter.  He's good on the fast break which is all they'll need from him at the moment as they try to develop his ball-handling and three-point shooting.

The Raptors are only getting better and better at player development and you can see them tightening up on the range of player they bring in so there's a good chance that you'll be seeing these players in the Raptors organization long term or as assets for trades as opposed to disappearing in free agency at some point.  The biggest problem they might end up with is finding a way to many great young players happy as they wait their time in line and that's never a bad problem to have.

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