As most NBA teams still try to determine how they’ll utilize the newly adapted two-way deals, the Toronto Raptors have jumped in head first. Toronto started things in early July as they signed forward Malcolm Miller, who spent the prior season with German squad ALBA Berlin. Prior to that, he stood as a pretty solid prospect for the Maine Red Claws where he put up 12.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game on 50% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc on 4.5 perimeter attempts per game.
Just three weeks after signing Miller, the Raptors filled up their two-way spots by bringing in guard Lorenzo Brown. G League should be more than familiar with Brown as he’s one of the only players in league history to make it to two separate ALl-Star games, which he did in 2015 and 2016.
As that fact might tell you, Brown has consistently stood as one of the league’s best guards as he’s put up 18.4 points, 5.2 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game on 48% from the field and 36% from beyond the arc. Brown’s great play was headlined by his performance last year with the Grand Rapids Drive.
In just 10 games, Brown went all out as he put up 23.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4 assists and 1.3 steals on 47% from the field and 35% from beyond the arc. Despite that being a ridiculously small sample size, it was enough to impress basically everyone on the Grand Rapids Drive.
One of those folks that Brown impressed was former Drive head coach and current Pistons assistant Rex Walters. In a statement to Ridiculous Upside, Walters had great things to say about Lorenzo Brown as both a teammate and player. In terms of his work as a teammate, Walters said this: “I loved coaching him because he sacrificed and played off-ball and was great on ball,” Walters told Ridiculous Upside. “He was about the team and all of our guys loved playing with him from Jordan Crawford, Kevin Murphy, Ray McCallum to everyone else.”
Walters praise for Brown continued as he responded with this when asked about if he has the skill-set to be in the NBA. “Yes, I think he does. He needs to tighten up for coaches and needs to be better on the ball in pick-and-rolls. Has all the tools and has a good mind for the game.”
Luckily for Brown, the Raptors organization shared Walters’ sentiment as they utilized their last two-way deal on him. Honestly, Brown might stand as the highest caliber player that you can sign to a two-way deal as he has played up to 63 games in the NBA while also being a two-time G League All-Star.
While most players on two-way deals are just there to develop, Brown realistically stands as a player that should spend some time with the Raptors. If a point guard or shooting guard goes down for an extended period of time with an injury, Brown could come in and take their spot in the rotation. That’s due to Brown being a 6’5 guard that has shot 36% from beyond the arc while also maintaining a solid 1.7 Ast/TO ratio.
Although most Raptors fans may initially overlook this signing, there’s a chance that he can play significant minutes for the squad this season.