Raptors’ Dalano Banton earns FIBA All-Star honor with Team Canada
As the Toronto Raptors attempt to answer some of the lingering rotational questions around this franchise, they are one step away from having open tryouts to determine who will be the backup point guard behind Fred VanVleet. Second-year Dalano Banton could be one of the favorites.
Banton was more impressive than most second-round picks, but the Rexdale native entered the season with legitimate concerns about his offensive potential. Last year he lost rotational time due to poor shooting and lack of confidence with the ball in his hands.
The Raptors and the former Nebraska sophomore decided the best thing to do would be to play for Team Canada in the FIBA AmeriCup. Although the ball and the rules are slightly different, Banton was undoubtedly the driving force behind a Canadian team that made a run in later rounds. He even finished the competition with silverware.
Banton was named one of the tournament’s top five players. Among him in that roster were former Heat point guard Norris Cole, former Thunder winger and competitive MVP Gabriel Deck, and recent Nuggets replacement Facundo Campazzo. Banton was the only Canadian selected.
Toronto Raptors PG Dalano Banton was sensational.
Banton averaged 15.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game with Team Canada. Banton, who has scored at least 16 points in four straight games, appeared to be completely in control on the offensive end of the ball. Toronto must be thrilled with this showing.
In his first match against hosts Brazil, Banton recorded a double-double. This was followed by a record 20 points against Colombia. While these teams may not have the next Michael Jordan on their roster, Banton has proven he is clearly above the rest of the players in this competition.
All was not perfect, as he went 4-16 from the field in a semi-final loss to Brazil and scored just eight points in the third-place game against the United States. . That said, the improvement he showed from last year to this year was clear and evident.
The Raptors will explore just about every angle possible in order to find a VanVleet backup, but Banton might be the most logical choice of the bunch. The FIBA game is a far cry from the NBA, but it helped prove that Banton prioritized making his game more aggressive and efficient.