Title: Progress of Terence Davis II worth tracking ahead of Raptors’ trade deadline, Rising Stars rosters
Date: January 28, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Terence Davis II trying to establish himself as a rotation piece, and as a byproduct, a possible participant in the NBA Rising Stars Challenge.
Until recent years, the Toronto Raptors had many ignominious traditions. One by one, those have fallen, culminating in the ultimate eraser that is a championship. Just because those earlier tropes no longer matter does not mean some of them don’t still persevere.
Perhaps the most curious of those lean-year oddities was that the Raptors seemed, at least by perception, to buck the one trend you’d expect a perennial also-ran to appreciate: A consistent, lottery-fueled presence in the NBA’s annual All-Star weekend showcase of young players. (The lengthy description is needed because the name and format has changed multiple times. The event is now called the Rising Stars Challenge, comprised of players in their first two seasons on teams representing the United States and the rest of the world.)
The Raptors have had 15 participants in such games over their 24 seasons to date, a reasonable, if disappointing, number on a balance of assumed normal distribution. (They would have an Expected Appearances of 19.5 given roster sizes and league construction, before accounting for how many years they spent collecting reasonably high draft picks.) Within that history was a strikingly long stretch of the Raptors rarely being represented in those games. From 2009 to 2018, the Raptors employed 47 players in rookie or sophomore seasons and exactly two — DeMar DeRozan (2011) and Jonas Valanciunas (2014) — were selected to the Friday night showcase. That included the year of The Bench Mob, where the Raptors’ vaunted second unit employed three worthy candidates. OG Anunoby ended the pseudo-drought in 2019, somewhat ironically given that it occurred in a worse season than he had the year prior.
I mention all of this because the Raptors are staring down another situation that would surely be perceived as a snub. Terence Davis II is deserving, on merit, of participating in the 2020 Rising Stars Challenge. Those rosters, as selected by assistant coaches around the NBA, will be announced by the league Friday morning.