Wade Baldwin hopes Raptors 905 puts him back on NBA path after career detours

Title: Wade Baldwin hopes Raptors 905 puts him back on NBA path after career detours
Date: March 4, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the up-and-down start to Wade Baldwin’s NBA career and what a new beginning with Raptors 905 means for him.

As​ far as sophomore developments​ go,​ it felt like the​ sort of light-bulb moment​​ that shows a young player is beginning for put things together. With Damian Lillard on the sidelines and the Portland Trail Blazers down double-digits to the Houston Rockets, Wade Baldwin IV got the call. The goal: Lock down two future hall of famers in Chris Paul and James Harden as best you can, and be a chaos engine to disrupt the Rockets’ comfort.

Here was Baldwin, playing just his fifth NBA game of the season late in the year, getting called on for 32 minutes against a top contender, and drawing the toughest defensive assignments. In the second quarter, Baldwin used his 7-foot wingspan to force the MVP into a pair of turnovers, earning a tough rebuttal he didn’t take lying down. Later, he’d help key a 17-0 Blazers run in the final five minutes, a comeback that fell short when Paul hit a game-winner. Head coach Terry Stotts called Baldwin’s defence “exceptional” and Lillard described it as “playoff level.” Despite the loss, Baldwin made an impression.

Less than a year later, Baldwin found himself signing into the G League player pool as a free agent.

“One day you’re up, one day you’re the man because you’re guarding James Harden, the next day you’re traded three times and then waived,” Baldwin said.

Continue reading at The Athletic.

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