Predicting the Raptors' Post-Training Camp Roster Cuts

October 6, 2018

   After a comfortable 120-82 victory over the NBL's Melbourne United, the Toronto Raptors will, after match-ups with the Nets and Pelicans, head in to the regular season with a rematch of the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. 


   Before that game, the Raptors have to cut at least five players from their current training camp roster of 20 men. According to NBA rules under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each NBA team may only have 15 players on their respective rosters. 


   I am going to take a look at the fringe players on the Raptors' training camp roster, guys who are currently competing for a spot on the regular season roster, and determine whether they will be cut from, sent to the G-League, or kept on the roster for opening night against the Cavs.


   Deng Adel


   Deng Adel, a small forward/power forward out of Louisville, hadn't been a contender at all for a spot on either the Raptors roster or the G-League affiliate team, Raptors905. That all changed after the game against Melbourne, in which Adel scored 13 points in just 16 minutes on 5-of-5 shooting from the field. Add that to his 3 rebounds, and you can see why the Raptors coaching staff and front office might be tempted to give this kid some more minutes against the Nets on Wednesday.


   I definitely do not expect Adel to make the Raptors' roster but I would not be at all surprised if team president Masai Ujiri, general manager Bobby Webster, and head coach Nick Nurse wanted to take a closer look at him throughout the course of the season.


Verdict: Makes Raptors905 roster. 


Chris Boucher


   The only Canadian player on this 20-man roster, Chris Boucher has the home crowd behind him in a big way. He also has incredible size and length, looking kind of like a second coming of Kevin Durant, standing at 6'10" with an almost 7'4" wingspan. 


   Obviously, he isn't KD. He doesn't have the deceptive strength and top-tier shooting that KD has, and he isn't nearly the defender that KD is, but he's good.


   That size and length, those god-given gifts that can't be taught, are a natural advantage for the players that have them, and if Boucher can get stronger and work on his shot, he'll be good enough to play on a playoff team's roster. Until then, he should hone his skills in the G-League.


Verdict: Makes Raptors905 roster.


Kyle Collinsworth


   Here's the thing: there's nothing wrong with Kyle Collinsworth. He's a fine backup guard. At 6'6" he's got decent size, but he lacks athleticism and a 3-point shot of note.


   In a couple of appearances with the Raptors in the preseason he's played okay, but hasn't impressed in any way, averaging less than a point and only one assist.


   The main thing that Kyle Collinsworth needs is to be better than any one member of the Raptors' loaded backcourt. He's not. It's as simple as that.


Verdict: Cut.


Kay Felder


   Kay Felder is yet another victim of the Raptors' competitive backcourt, and, standing at just 5'9", is also a victim of the short man's curse. He is a good offensive player, but no matter how hard he works, can't pressure opposing point guards on the defensive end. 


   Being a short-ish player myself, I tend to root for the short guys, like Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas. The difference between those guys and Felder is their respective athleticism and scoring abilities are off the charts. His is relatively average. 


   So, while I want to see Felder succeed, a 4 point, 0 assist per game average over two games is not nearly enough to convince the Raptors' front office and coaching staff to sign him.


Verdict: Cut.


Jordan Loyd


   Jordan Loyd is, as is the case with Kay Felder, one of seven players on the training camp roster listed as a point guard. He does have considerably greater size than Kay Felder (6'4" to Felder's 5'9") and considerably greater athleticism than Collinsworth.


   Having played in all three pre-season games, the Raptors appear to be considering Loyd more so than both Felder and Collinsworth, and he's shown them a decent stat line, (1.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game) which is slightly lacking in the assist department (1 assist over three games).


   The Raptors will likely find their G-League point guard of the future in Loyd, after reigning G-League MVP, Lorenzo Brown, signed with the Raptors. 


Verdict: Makes Raptors905 roster.


Eric Moreland


   After more or less confirming that Serge Ibaka would be getting a lot more minutes at the center spot this year, the Raptors don't have much need for 26 year-old center Eric Moreland, who averaged just 1 point and 2 boards in 8 minutes over 2 games.


   Additionally, the Raptors 905 probably don't need him, as they've already got a couple of solid prospects at the 5, in Shevon Thompson and former UNC standout Kennedy Meeks.


Verdict: Cut.













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