Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday that Will Cherry will be signing a two-year partially guaranteed deal with the Toronto Raptors. Quite the come up for a Cherry who went undrafted in 2013 and ended up playing in the D-League last season to try and keep his dream alive.
Cherry played 18 games with the Canton Charge averaging 11.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists. He ramped his production up a notch when the team hit the D-League playoffs as well -- putting up 13.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists over their three-game series.
He followed up a strong showing in the D-League last season, with an even more impressive performance during the NBA Summer League while playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cherry played five games and started two of them, finishing with averages of 12.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists -- the only two players who averaged more points per game were Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett.
Cherry will be replacing Dwight Buycks, who went overseas to play in Spain for the 2014-15 season. Cherry will be the third point guard option behind Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez, so he almost certainly won't see big minutes. However, should one of the aforementioned guards go down with an injury, Cherry is more than capable of being the backup.
Cherry is certainly an energetic player, if nothing else. He's always been known as a hyperactive player who isn't afraid of getting down and dirty to get the job done. The guard is a defensive stalwart as well, boasting two Defensive Player of the Year awards from the Big Sky Conference.
Cherry's major downfall is his outside shooting. He's never been known as a shooter and the numbers bare that out as well. In four years at the University of Montana, he shot 29% from three-point land. What's more, he followed up last season in Canton by shooting 33%, and in the five Summer League contests, shot 24%.
Fellow Oakland native and childhood friend Damian Lillard talked about Cherry during Summer League and said, "He's definitely a guy who is an NBA-level player, he deserves to be on an NBA team and I'm really happy for him". We will soon find out if Lillard was telling us the truth, or if he was simply being nice for his friend.