Photo credit: Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images
After a flurry of personnel moves late last week, the Toronto Raptors have shifted their focus to locking up their rookies.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Blake Murphy have reported that rookie Dalano Banton, who was selected 46th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, has signed a two-year contract worth $2.5 million.
Murphy notes that the second year is partially guaranteed, but in the event that Banton completes both years of his contract with Toronto, he would then become a restricted free agent. This means the Raptors have now signed all three of their draft picks and one undrafted player through this season. Scottie Barnes signed his rookie deal last week, while David Johnson and Justin Champagnie have inked two-way contracts with the team.
Banton is a native of Rexdale, Ontario, and he made history as the first Canadian player to be drafted by a Canadian NBA franchise last month. Now, he gets to join the team’s NBA roster for the 2021-22 season and represent his home nation proudly.
It is still widely expected that Banton will spend lots of time with the G League’s Raptors 905 this season in order to refine his game and build up his confidence. That being said, Banton should see time on the NBA court as well, and the Raptors will likely develop a plan that has him playing in as much game action as possible, commuting back and forth from downtown Toronto to Mississauga.
In three games so far at the Las Vegas 2021 NBA Summer League, Banton has averaged 7.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.7 steals, and 2.0 blocks per game, where he has shown flashes as a versatile defender and an offensive facilitator. He will look to close out the summer tournament strong and carry this momentum over into the NBA season.