Last night’s NBA draft was an eventful one for the Toronto Raptors organization and its fans. After a season which the Raptors missed out on the first playoffs for the first time in 8 years, Thursday night’s draft acted as a page turner for the Raptors franchise.
The Raptors selected Scottie Barnes from Florida State 4th overall and selected Toronto-native Dalano Banton 46th overall in the draft Thursday night.
Barnes was the highest draft pick the Raptors have had since selecting Andrea Bargnani 1st overall in 2006. It was obvious by the crowd reaction and the ensuing chaos on Twitter, that most people were not expecting the Raptors to take Barnes.
Barnes is a 6 foot 8, 225 pound forward with a 7’3 wingspan and a tireless engine. He’s been dubbed the best defender in the entire draft class.
Here are some facts about Barnes:
- Five star recruit out of high school
- In high school he played alongside #1 overall pick Cade Cunningham and #14th pick Moses Moody
- Chose Florida State University despite offers from Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Miami and others
- Won ACC’s Freshman of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year awards
- Celebrating his 20th birthday on August 1st, 2021.
- NBA comparison: Draymond Green
- He was jovial when the Raptors selected him
- He’s Jamaican and already asking to for the best food joints in Toronto
- He went to workout at 8am the morning after the draft
Dalano Banton became the first Canadian to be drafted by the Toronto Raptors. Banton joined Josh Primo and Chris Duarte as other Canadian’s who were drafted Thursday night. Undrafted Canadians, Eugene Omoruyi and AJ Lawson, will get an opportunity as well, signing with the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat, respectively.
Not only is Banton from Canada, but he’s actually from Toronto, Rexdale to be exact.
Banton is 6 foot 9 weighing 205 pounds with all the tools required to be a point guard. However, expect him to basically be positionless. Banton fits the Raptors modus operandi of long, versatile players who can guard multiple positions and play multiple roles on offense.
Here’s some facts about Dalano Banton:
- Attended high school at Central Commerce Collegiate Institute (now called Central Toronto Academy)
- Led his G League Combine camp in assists and rebounds
- Played college at Western Kentucky but really blossomed in final collegiate season in Nebraska
- Was widely considered a long-shot to get drafted
- Sports Illustrated had Banton as one of their biggest ‘sleepers’ in the NBA draft
- He’s incredibly grateful to be drafted and it’s not only his dream but his entire neighbourhood’s
The Raptors also selected sharpshooting guard David Johnson from Louisville as the 47th overall pick. All eyes are now on Kyle Lowry, Masai Ujiri and the inevitable dominoes that will continue to fall in the 2021 offseason.