Toronto Raptors can take credit for Oshae Brissett saving Pacers


The Toronto Raptors might be on track to spend the entire postseason at home, but that hasn’t stopped s parade of former Raptors from making themselves known to the NBA world at large. One of the more interesting players to keep an eye on is Oshae Brissett, a former Raptor that Nate Bjorkgren brought with him to the Indiana Pacers.

The native Canadian was a G Leaguer that had a few cups of coffee near the end of games in his only season with the Raptors. He had his shot to make the roster in the preseason, but Nick Nurse decided that he wasn’t the best fit moving forward.

Brissett landed with Bjorkgren in Indiana, and he has been everything the Pacers could’ve asked for out of a late-season pick-up. With Caris LeVert and Myles Turner both out due to injury, it was a former Raptor in Brissett that helped put the Charlotte Hornets to bed in the play-in game.

Brissett totaled 23 points, making clutch shot after clutch shot as the Pacers dropped 144 points on Charlotte. Earlier in the season, Brissett credited the Raptors for how they worked with him on the court, making this yet another win for their player development system.

The Toronto Raptors helped develop Oshae Brissett.

The biggest step Brissett has made involves his ability to shoot. Even going back to his college days at Syracuse, he was a 31% shooter from deep. With the Pacers, thanks to his time with one of the league’s best shot doctors in Nurse and a disciple in Bjorkgren, Brissett is making 42% of his 3-point shots.

In games Brissett has started, he is averaging 13.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game for a Pacers team that has been limping to the finish line due to injuries. Don’t you think he would’ve been just a touch better than Stanley Johnson?

The Raptors have to be kicking themselves after watching Brissett torch the Hornets. While the ranks of the G League have supplied the Raptors with depth over the years, they have made some puzzling decisions about who to promote. Brissett and Brooklyn Nets standout Alize Johnson were cast away, but the bust known as Henry Ellenson was promoted.

The Raptors might not have been able to reap the rewards of Brissett suddenly morphing into one of the East’s more impressive young small forwards, but at least the fact that he is playing well can give the Raptors some comfort in knowing they haven’t lost their ability to develop talent.