Dalano Banton is a 21-year-old level guard from the Rexdale space of Toronto. He’s the primary Canadian draft decide in Toronto Raptors historical past and, at 6-foot-9 and with a 6-foot-10.25 wingspan, he embodies the Raptors newfound id of what i’m calling “size and power.”
However Banton wasn’t hyped in the identical means that Scottie Barnes and even David Johnson had been in the course of the 2021 NBA Draft course of. Even after being chosen forty sixth total by the Raptors, he projected to be a enjoyable story as the primary Canadian to be drafted by the Raptors and a real Toronto Man, however most followers had low (if any) expectations for Banton, who flew underneath the radar till placing on a present at Las Vegas Summer time League.
Whereas his numbers from 5 summer season league video games had been uninspiring and inefficient, with a 37.3 true capturing share together with 0/12 from three, Banton confirmed flashes of playmaking creativity that we simply don’t see from most gamers his age, proving to be forward of schedule for a second spherical draft decide. The truth is, he even shocked his coaches and teammate Matt Morgan, who stated Banton shocked him most out of everybody on the roster, “Simply trigger his dimension, size, passing means with that sort of top.”
The Raptors clearly agree, signing Banton to a assured two-year NBA deal (moderately than a two-way deal) half-way by way of summer season league. And whereas Banton will in all probability begin the season with the Raptors 905 as their lead creator (which will probably be must-watch basketball), don’t be shocked if he strikes as much as the large membership in some unspecified time in the future within the 2021-22 season.
Banton has expertise that can seamlessly translate to the NBA recreation, however he additionally has a pair areas of enchancment that he must work on with a purpose to be an efficient all-around participant within the NBA. Let’s break down his strengths and weaknesses, together with movie from his remaining summer season league recreation towards the Brooklyn Nets.
Banton’s greatest, most developed talent is his playmaking, and that’s the talent that can allow him to get NBA minutes at such a younger age even with out a tight deal with or efficient outdoors shot.
As a consequence of his dimension, Banton is ready to see excessive of the protection and thread passes to all ranges of the ground. However he’s not only a large child who can go; he’s an elite playmaker who occurs to be large. And it’s his intuition and really feel for the sport that basically stands out, making fast reads and improvising so properly in unscripted performs that teammates typically discover the ball of their fingers with out understanding the way it bought there.
Banton enters the league with just about each go within the e-book, together with the power to hit weakside shooters if the assistance sags into the paint. Or he can hit the roll man with bounces or passes excessive. actually, Banton has nice endurance within the pick-and-roll, ready for his display to attach or slip earlier than reacting to the protection and immediately selecting out the perfect go.
“I believe his size helps him see above the defence, see above the gang, and he’s in a position to make passes which might be possibly slightly bit tougher for different gamers to make,” Raptors summer season league coach Patrick Mutombo stated about Banton. And it may possibly’t be understated: Banton’s passing means is uncommon and it’s particular; it’s the talent that can allow him to play within the NBA for years to come back if solely he refines just a few smaller areas of his recreation.
Banton isn’t the quickest athlete, however he has a shiftiness to his recreation that typically permits him to get previous his man and, as soon as he’s within the paint, good luck stopping him. Banton will get to the rim in only a couple lengthy strides and might end their in any respect angles. He’ll doubtless thrive round NBA spacing much more than he did in summer season league, as a result of with an open pathway to the rim, Banton is deadly.
Defensively, Banton isn’t the quickest lateral defender on the subject of preserving smaller level guards in entrance of him, however he could make up for that lack of quickness together with his lengthy wingspan, enabling him to poke the ball away from ball-handlers who suppose they’re previous him.
He’s additionally lengthy and bouncy sufficient to problem drivers on the rim, ending summer season league with a formidable steal share of 4.00 and block share of 6.00, averaging 3.4 shares in summer season league. Banton can be a extremely good rebounder for his place, which makes him a risk to seize the ball off the rim and instantly push it up the ground for a transition alternative.
Banton’s deal with is nice for his dimension however not nice for his place: level guard. In spite of everything, Banton is with out an outdoor shot as of proper now, capturing 24.7 % in faculty and 0.00 % in summer season league, so he wants the ball in his fingers with a purpose to be efficient (he’s a sensible cutter off-ball however groups will sag off him a lot that will probably be exhausting to outlive with out a shot).
Sadly for Banton, he has bother dribbling previous defenders and into tight areas, and small guards can decide his pocket as a result of he’s a lot taller than them and must dribble the ball so excessive off the bottom. Banton avoids getting picked by stepping into a extremely low stance within the half courtroom, however it’s an issue in transition when he struggles to push the tempo due whereas sustaining his dribble. Plus, the extra opposing defenders know that he struggles together with his deal with, the extra they’ll pester him full-court to attempt to steal the ball and disrupt actions.
Offensively, Banton both must tighten up the deal with and be extra comfy dribbling the ball into tight areas within the half courtroom and with pace in transition in order that he can play level guard on the NBA degree, or he must develop an outdoor shot with a purpose to be a secondary-playmaker who excels even with out the ball in his fingers. If he improves on both of these expertise, Banton ought to see time within the NBA, and he would instantly turn into one of the vital inventive playmakers on the Raptors.
On the defensive finish of the ground, Banton is already stable as a consequence of his size and pace shifting up and down the courtroom. However he typically lets ball handlers blow by him and depends on his size and bounce to fulfill them on the rim as a substitute of beating them to their spot as a technique to keep away from the drive altogether.
Plus, Banton just isn’t used to combating over screens. He doubtless by no means needed to in his life as a result of he at all times had the size and pace to go underneath and nonetheless contest pictures, however it gained’t be that means within the NBA, so it’s an space he might want to enhance, and power will assist.
“With the NBA’s transitioning right into a positionless sport, it offers me plenty of benefit having the ability to see on the defensive finish, make performs on the level guard place,” Banton stated about himself. “Wherever I’m wanted most, I’m going to be. It positively offers me slightly little bit of edge, simply being this tall with that dimension and flexibility.”
That’s definitely what the Raptors thought when the drafted the 21-year-old Torontonian forty sixth total. Now, with just some small tweaks to his recreation, Banton will be capable of make his dream come true and play within the NBA for his hometown group.
Tip Oren Weisfeld
Dalano Banton regarded forward of schedule in Summer time League originated on Raptors Republic.