Report: Raptors add Alize Johnson, Yuta Watanabe, Henry Ellenson to training camp deals

William Lou
·NBA reporter
·2 min read

The Toronto Raptors filled out their training camp roster with a handful of signings ahead of the start of the 2020 season, according to Blake Murphy of The Athletic.

The first signing is Alize Johnson, a 24-year-old forward who went 50th overall in the 2018 draft to the Indiana Pacers. He is light on collegiate experience since he received no Division I offers coming out of high school, but played for Missouri State for two seasons before going pro. It wasn’t until his senior year where he finally found traction with NBA executives after receiving an invite to the Adidas Nations camp.

Johnson spent the majority of his NBA career to date in the G-League, where he holds averages of 19.5 points, 13.4 points, and 3.7 assists while shooting 51 percent from the field and 36 percent from deep. His main attribute is that he is an athletically capable wing who consistently gives all-out effort, particularly on the glass. Couple that with a decent handle and enough strength to slash into the paint, and it’s not hard to see why the Raptors would like him.

Toronto also added Japanese forward Yuta Watanabe to a training camp deal. The 6-foot-8 lefty went undrafted in 2018, and has been a bench piece for the Memphis Grizzlies over the past two seasons. As with Johnson, Watanabe spent most of his time in the G-League where he averaged 17 points, six rebounds and two assists on 55 percent shooting from the field and 36 percent from three. He is an active wing who can play on the wing, but is more suited to being a smallball power forward.

The Raptors also invited Henry Ellenson to camp. Ellenson went 18th overall to the Detroit Pistons in 2016, but mostly failed to impress in his four seasons in the NBA. However, Ellenson was a standout player for the Raptors 905 last season, averaging 21.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.1 blocks while shooting a blistering 43 percent from deep on over six attempts per game. Ellenson slimmed down from when he was a rookie and expanded both his mobility and his skillset, however it remains to be seen if he can defend at an NBA level to command more playing time.

Toronto rounded out their training camp roster by retaining forward Oshae Brissett, who spent last season on a two-way contract between the Raptors and the 905. That brings the Raptors to the maximum of 20 players in training camp to contend for one of the final 15 roster spots, plus an open two-way deal.

More coverage on Yahoo Sports Canada