The final piece of my week-long review of the Las Vegas Summer League shines the light north of the border on the Toronto Raptors, the new affiliate of the Erie BayHawks for the 2009-10 NBA season.
The Raptors won their last three Summer League games (by a combined 7 points) to finish the week 3-2 in Vegas. Their were plenty of impressive performances for this young squad.
Team MVP: DeMar DeRozan
A very honorable mention goes out to the team's leading scorer and former BayHawk Quincy Douby, but Raptors fans and scouts alike had their eyes on the team's top pick all week long, and DeRozan was, for the most part, very impressive. He averaged 17 points on just under 50 percent shooting while also grabbing 4.8 rebounds per game from the guard position. While his 1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio leaves some room for improvement, it's also not a terrible number for a rookie making his debut.
The biggest question mark in DeRozan's game right now is outside shooting and free throw shooting. He was only 50 percent from the line (10-20) and made just one 3-pointer in 5 attempts. Those areas need improvement, but DeRozan exhibited a lot of the potential that made him a lottery selection, and the Raptors organization has to be encouraged by his overall performance. I think he'll find playing time with Toronto this season and would be surprised to see him sent on assignment to Erie.
Roko Ukic played well. He shot 51.5 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from 3-point range while averaging 11.8 points per game. As seems to be the Summer League trend, though, he averaged more turnovers than assists.
Patrick O'Bryant rebounded the ball well, leading the team with 6.4 boards per game. He also scored in double figures on efficient 55.8 percent shooting. Perhaps there's a chance he can remove the "bust" label before the final chapter is closed on his career.
Brent Petway is never going to get turned due to lack of athleticsm. In addition to his highlight reel dunks, Petway played well on the defensive end, where he easily led the team in blocks per minute.
Smush Parker didn't do much to help his cause to get back in the NBA, at least not in Toronto, where the backcourt is already loaded. He did manage to score 8 points per game, but he shot just 36.4 percent from the field and had more turnovers than assists.
I can't praise Douby's performance enough. He's a talented individual, and I think he's a more mature player at this stage of his career than he was coming out of Rutgers. It also didn't help being stuck in Sacramento where the revolving door of coaches through off any chance for consistency. I like his chances of sticking in Toronto this season or else catching on with another NBA club.
As for the others, it'll be interesting to see how the Raptors utilize the relationship with the BayHawks this season. Hopefully they'll follow more in the mold of the Cavs and be open to development assignments and less like the 76ers who seemed very unconcerned with their Erie affiliation last season. In any case, welcome aboard Toronto. Summer League is fun, and hopefully the rest of the year will follow suit.