3 burning questions as Raptors begin Summer League play

Toronto Raptors, Justin Champagnie

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 12: Justin Champagnie #11 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The Toronto Raptors need to take a brief break from chasing Kevin Durant as they try to once again impress the rest of the league in Summer League competition. With how development-centric Toronto’s culture is, these exhibitions in Vegas will be critical to see how the young players are progressing.

Last year was a Summer League for the ages, as Toronto unleashed Scottie Barnes and Precious Achiuwa on an unsuspecting league. While they lack names with that level of bombast this time around, their roster remains one of the deepest and most effective in the sport.

The Raptors have the usual crop of undrafted free agents looking to wiggle their way into the rotation or the Raptors 905 roster, but returning names like DJ Wilson and Armoni Brooks speak to the quality and depth that this group has. This should be fun to watch.

The Raptors need to come out of this exhibition series with these three questions firmly answered. Doing so will go a long way towards figuring out what the back end of the roster is going to look like and how much extra development some of their prized youngsters need.

3 burning questions Raptors must answer in Summer League

3. Can Dalano Banton, Justin Champagnie shoot 3-pointers?

Even though both the No. 45 overall pick and the undrafted two-way standout fell out of the rotation by the end of the year, they had individually impressive moments along the way. However, the biggest obstacle standing in the way of both of them eventually becoming pro players is their lack of 3-point shooting.

While Banton put up terrific shooting splits in the G League, he connected on just 41% of his field goal attempts and 25% of his 3-pointers in the NBA. Champagnie shot a respectable 36% from deep, but he only made ten 3-pointers all season long, and four of them came in one game against the Spurs.

Toronto Raptors: Will Dalano Banton, Justin Champagnie shoot better?

Both players look like natural scheme fits in Toronto. Banton’s wiry frame could make him a solid perimeter defender, and Champagnie has already shown he can be an excellent rebounder in the pros despite his 6-6 frame. The shooting (or lack of same) is still an obstacle they will need to overcome.

Champagnie and Banton need to each attempt at least four 3-pointers in each Summer League game. While an excellent two-game span might not be overly predictive of an overall trend, it could show just how far along they are in their natural progression.

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