There are at least four players vying for the final two roster spots on the Toronto Raptors. Amit Mann and Sean Woodley discuss who has the inside track to win them. Full episode is available on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed.
AMIT MANN: On the partially guaranteed side, you got Dalano Banton, Armoni Brooks, DJ Wilson, and Justin Champagnie. So between those guys, they're jockeying for two positions at this moment, and we'll get to some of the other players who are currently guaranteed contracts-- Svi, Malachi Flynn, whatever's going to happen there. But between those four guys that I mentioned, who do you think has the inside track, and is it just simply it's Justin Champagnie and Dalano Banton?
SEAN WOODLEY: I think it's Justin Champagnie and Delano Banton. I think as nice as Armoni Brooks is, and as much as he had some moments in summer league and with the Raptors last year, I just don't think you're looking at this Raptors roster and ever hoping for a moment where like oh, we've got to get Armoni Brooks into this game. They're too deep for that. And like you mentioned, there's like 12 guys entrenched. First of all, my brain is like, Ken would be the 10th guy, then the 11th would be Flynn, I guess, on the guaranteed. And then Svi is there, too. Is that where we're at here?
AMIT MANN: Yeah. Yeah, man.
SEAN WOODLEY: There's so many guys. It feels like they have 30 guys on the team. It's hurting my brain.
AMIT MANN: I know.
SEAN WOODLEY: But yeah, I think it's likely that Flynn's is on the team, even though I have my own misgivings about Malachi Flynn as a player, and I don't really necessarily think he's going to be all that impactful. But I think he'll be there. They've invested him in at least some way, shape, or form with a first round pick. I would bet they gave him one last shot to prove it.
And then yeah, Champagnie and Banton, I think are no-doubters. I think Champagnie stands a pretty good chance that some point if making it into the rotation based on his general Raptors-iness, with the offensive rebounding, the multi-positional defense, and the fact that he hit 40% of his 3's on six and a half attempts a game in the G League last season. That's not nothing. It's not a massive sample, it was like 14 games, but still something to grow on. And if that is in any way real, of course he's a rotation player.
Why wouldn't you want that guy in there? So those guys, I think, are pretty comfortable. With Wilson, Brooks, everyone else-- Wilson, we'll see. I just don't really see-- there's not a pathway to Christian Koloko getting minutes ahead of Ken Burch. I don't see where--
AMIT MANN: Exactly.
SEAN WOODLEY: DJ Wilson's getting minutes on this team. So maybe it is better spent, that roster spot, on maybe on Armoni Brooks, just to have a little extra guard play. But it's-- I'm not going to lie to you, man. We're deep into the off season. We're obviously talking about the back end of the roster a whole bunch. But none of this is going to matter to the actual team. They have nine guys in their rotation right now who look like they're going to make an awesome nine-man rotation. And then there's three or four guys who can backfill there. Who the 14th and 15th men are-- I know it's the summer thing to talk about, but we don't need to have takes on DJ Wilson.
AMIT MANN: I know. I know.
SEAN WOODLEY: Really? Like, as much as it's our job to, you can realize, OK, he's a nice player who probably is not going to make all that much of an impact in the NBA. And that's fine! Not everybody does!
AMIT MANN: And it's important to keep in mind that with DJ Wilson and Armoni Brooks, they were both brought in as insurance, because injuries were taking their toll on the Raptors roster. DJ Wilson, look, he is an intriguing player, and I think he does have a place in the NBA. And I just don't know if it's with the Raptors. Because you think about the players that they already have at center-- Precious, Cam, Chris Boucher, and then they also get funky. So maybe it's Scottie Barnes.
Maybe it's Pascal Siakam. Maybe it's OG Anunoby. All these guys could play center at some point this season, then, with Armoni Brooks, unless he is like a CJ Miles lights-out NBA shooter. Then I don't know if he's going to be able to carve out a role, at least with the Toronto Raptors, right? Because then if he can't be the hub of your offense off the bench, then I don't know if he's going to be a person that you can actually put out there, because then what is his role?
What is he doing that other players that you mentioned earlier in the rotation, who are solidified players in that spot, what is he doing that those players can't do that's helping you win games? He's not going to help you raise your ceiling with your bench team, and that's kind of a factor with the Raptors because I mean, we know that their bench was the worst in the NBA last season. So if that's not happening, then so be it--