Toronto Raptors

2021 NBA Summer League: Four players to know on the Toronto Raptors' Summer League roster

Justin Champagnie, Jalen Adams, Ashton Hagans Raptors Summer League.jpeg
Justin Champagnie, Jalen Adams, Ashton Hagans [Getty Images]

The Toronto Raptors are set to kick off Summer League on Sunday, Aug. 8 when they take on the New York Knicks at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sportsnet.

Summer League is the first time we get to see the top rookies in this year's draft class on an NBA floor, but it's also an opportunity for role players, G Leaguers, undrafted free agents and players playing overseas to try and make an impression and crack an NBA roster.

While the Raptors' Summer League spotlight will certainly fall on guys like No. 4 overall pick Scottie Barnes or last year's first-round pick Malachi Flynn, who are some other players to look out for on Toronto's Summer League roster?

You can find the Raptors' full Summer League roster and schedule here.

Players to know on Raptors' Summer League roster

Jalen Adams, Guard

Adams is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound playmaking point guard who was a star at UConn for four seasons from 2015-2019. He tallied 1,706 points and 511 assists during his time at UConn, ranking fifth and third all-time, respectively, in the American Athletic Conference.

After going undrafted in 2019, Adams posted two strong seasons in the G League with the New Orleans Pelicans' affiliate Erie BayHawks. Averaging 18.2 points, 4.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals over those two seasons with efficient shooting splits of .491/.395/.851, it's clear to see that there is some potential to be creator and scorer at the next level. This past season, in the G League Bubble, Adams was dialed in from long range, converting 40.0 percent of his 6.1 attempts per game.

The 25-year-old is extremely fluid with the ball in his hands, he's a savvy passer and can put his head down and score when he needs to. He also has a history of knocking down clutch circus shots, including a three-quarter court bomb to keep UConn's NCAA Tournament hopes alive in 2016...

...which was second in that field to a halfcourt, buzzer-beating game-winner to help his elite prep high school take home the prestigious New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) championship.

Adams also played one year of prep high school basketball at powerhouse Brewster Academy, where he and NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell teamed up to win the 2014 High School National Championship.

Justin Champagnie, Forward

Champagnie stands in at just 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, but the Pittsburgh forward plays much bigger than his size.

Champagnie was one of the best players in the Atlantic Coast Conference this past season, claiming a spot on the All-ACC First Team. Averaging 18.0 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.2 steals per game, the 20-year-old put up monster numbers, leading the ACC in rebounding while ranking second in the conference in scoring.

His averages placed him on a short list of 10 high-major players in the last 15 years to post at least 18 points, 10 rebounds, one block and one steal per game, joining the company of players like Ben Simmons, Blake Griffin, Michael Beasley, Tyler Hansbrough and Kevin Durant, among others. (Fun fact: Current Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam also achieved this feat at mid-major New Mexico State as a sophomore in 2015-16).

Champagnie won't be the biggest, strongest, fastest or most athletic player on the floor, but he'll find a way to impact the game with his relentless work ethic on the glass, high IQ and soft scoring touch from in and around the paint.

The Raptors have already reportedly signed Champagnie to a two-way deal, showing a real interest in developing the young prospect.

Ashton Hagans, Guard

After going undrafted in the 2020 NBA Draft, Hagans had a tough go at an atypical rookie season. He signed a two-way deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, there was no Summer League. He then appeared in just two games in the G League Bubble before being waived due to a violation of the bubble's health and safety protocols.

The 6-foot-3, 198-pound Kentucky guard is coming off of what has essentially been a year-plus without playing competitive basketball, but he'll have the opportunity to showcase his skill set for the Raptors this Summer League.

Hagans plays with Raptors-esque aggressive energy on the defensive end as a hard-nosed, in-your-face on-ball defender. He was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year as a freshman, earning a spot on the SEC All-Defensive Team in both seasons at Kentucky. During his sophomore season, his 1.9 steals per game ranked second-most in the conference.

Hagans is also a crafty playmaker on the offensive end, evidenced by his SEC-leading 6.4 assists per game during his second and final season at Kentucky. He'll look to make his impact as a fast-paced ball handler and offensive initiator in transition while locking down opposing guards on the defensive end.

Ishmail Wainright, Forward

The Raptors were previously linked to the 26-year-old veteran during the 2020-21 season, scouting Wainright when he was playing professionally overseas with SIG Strasbourg of the Betclic League in France. They have now reportedly signed Wainright to a two-year deal, adding another versatile defender to the roster.

The 6-foot-5, 235-pound forward has a wingspan over 7-feet. He played four seasons of basketball at Baylor University, making his mark as a Big-12 All-Defensive Team selection. After four years of basketball, he elected to switch over to football for one season, where he caught a pair of touchdown passes as a tight end. Wainright even signed a deal with the Buffalo Bills before switching back to basketball, giving you an idea of the type of athlete and physicality the Raptors are adding to their frontcourt.

Wainright averaged 11.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game this past season in France.

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