The Toronto Raptors roster for the 2022 NBA Summer League has been revealed, and there are a few interesting names to watch out for.
The NBA Summer League is entering its 16th year, and it is another opportunity for the Toronto Raptors to get a closer look at rookies, fringe NBA players and potential G-leaguers ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
Last summer saw Raptors fans introduced to 2021 first round pick Scottie Barnes for the first time, with the former fourth overall pick going on to earn Rookie of the Year honours after his debut regular season with the team.
This year’s roster, via Sportsnet’s Blake Murphy, of course features a number of rookies, including the Raptors’ only draft selection of the 2022 class – former Arizona centre Christian Koloko.
Taken with the 33rd pick in this year’s draft, the Raptors will be hoping that Koloko can provide some much-needed depth at the centre position this season – with his strong defensive traits something the team highly values, along with his potential for growth on the offensive side of the court.
Along with Koloko is undrafted free agent signing Ron Harper Jr, who will spend large portions of this season with the 905 Raptors in the G League – developing his game and working towards potentially featuring in the NBA in the near future.
Guards Alex Barcello (BYU), Jaylen Sims (UNC Wilmington), and Christian Vital (Connecticut), forwards Ryan Hawkins (Creighton), Abu Kigab (Boise State) and centre Trey Porter (Nevada) round out the rest of the rookies joining the Raptors for this summer’s competition.
Some faces familiar with the Toronto Raptors fanbase will also be featuring in this year’s competition in Las Vegas, with Dalano Banton, Armoni Brooks, Justin Champagnie and David Johnson all returning after featuring for the Raptors at various stages during last year’s regular season.
One other face that will be a welcome sight for Raptors fans is D.J. Wilson – a player that the team have had on a handful of ten-day contracts over the past season, but were unable to secure on a permanent contract due to a season-ending injury during his last stint.
In four games with the Raptors, Wilson averaged 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals – some of the best stats he has produced in the NBA, despite limited to just 13.5 minutes on average.
Wilson could be in line to work with the 905 Raptors this season, potentially earning a chance to feature more often with the NBA roster where finances and playing opportunities allow – and the Summer League is the ideal opportunity to make an early impression.
Another intriguing name on the Raptors’ roster is former Brooklyn Nets second round pick Rodions Kurucs – who most recently spent time playing with KK Partizan in Serbia.
Kurucs had a productive rookie season in Brooklyn back in 2018/19, averaging 3.9 rebounds and 8.5 points while throwing 45% from the field in 63 games (46 starts), but he has failed to replicate this since and has seen his opportunities in the NBA dwindle.
This Summer League invitation will give the Latvian forward another opportunity to impress in the big league, potentially earning himself a G League contract and a chance to get his North American career back on track.
There will be plenty of interesting things to watch out for during this year’s NBA Summer League, and the Toronto Raptors could find themselves with some intriguing decisions to make once all is said and done.