905 preview, who and what to watch for this season

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Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors: Duane Notice #10 of the Raptors 905 (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)

Despite a major departure, the Toronto Raptors largely stayed the same. But not the Raptors 905, who will start 2019-20 with a brand new team. Let’s take a look at who and what to watch out for this coming season.

The Raptors 905 didn’t quite reach the same heights as the Raptors last season, but they still had a solid season, especially after considering how much talent they lost. With a 29-21 record, the 905 had a rollercoaster end to their G League season but still managed to go all the way to the Conference Semifinals.

Chris Boucher was a revelation for the 905 last season as were Jordan Loyd and Wade Baldwin IV. But none of them are returning to the team this year, with Boucher now on the Raptors and both Loyd and Baldwin overseas in Europe.

Instead, the 905 will look to build on a slew of promising prospects. And to add icing to the cake, or uh, maple syrup to the pancake, several of their new additions are Canadians.

Oshae Brissett will be a focal point of the team, as the Syracuse star will be on a two-way contract with the big league squad. He’ll be joined by the newly acquired Shamorie Ponds, also on a two-way deal, who is a prolific scorer from St. John’s. They’re just two of the many new faces for the 905.

But returning to the team is head coach Jama Mahlalela. Now in his second season, Mahlalela can further mold the team to what he wants. He successfully transitioned the team from Jerry Stackhouse‘s slow-paced grinding style to a more modern iteration without deteriorating many of the team’s defensive characteristics.

Expect the 905 to continue to evolve this season as they attempt to play Mahlalela’s new fast-paced style. Also, expect the team to look vastly different at the end of the season than it does right now. That’s just the way of life in the G-League.

However, at the moment, the 905 have a solid group of talent and a few players who might earn an NBA contract before the season is over.