The Toronto Raptors have had an interesting offseason so far. First, they lost Fred VanVleet to the Houston Rockets in NBA free agency, though managed to retain Jakob Poeltl. Additionally, they brought up Dennis Schroder as a possible replacement for VanVleet, and they also signed Jalen McDaniel away from the Philadelphia 76ers. Still, neither of these moves signaled the end of the rumors circulating around the Raptors; It is still uncertain how Pascal Siakam’s future with the Raptors will play out and a trade could happen in the near future. Especially if the Raptors get off to a bad start this season and Siakam is still on the roster, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Toronto star get traded. In addition to free agency, the Raptors also made a splash by drafting Grady Dick with the no. 13 overall selection in the 2023 NBA Draft. Dick was a Raptors player going into the 2023 NBA Summer League. Still, the undrafted summer league player showed he could be an asset to the 2023-2024 roster. Once next season begins, it is very possible that undrafted guard Marquis Noull will make the Raptors roster.
Marquis Novell came into limelight while playing for the Kansas State Wildcats during the NCAA tournament. Despite his 5’7 frame, he dominated the tournament by leading the entire region in assists, including a record-breaking performance of 19 assists in a game. He showed that he has the ability to perform on the grandest of stages and was certainly one of the highlights of the tournament. Nevertheless, his age and size were limiting factors in his inclusion in the draft and a major reason why he was ultimately not drafted. Luckily, the Raptors signed him to a two-way contract and gave him a chance to show his stuff in the Summer League. He showed his work and it is now clear that Novell deserves a spot on the roster. Marquis Nouvel is the best option among undrafted players who can join the Raptors’ 2023-2024 roster.
* via statistics realgm
His 5’7 frame is the primary reason why Marquis Noull was not taken in the 2023 NBA Draft. He was so dominant in the NCAA tournament that he showed he could play with the best of them, but in an NBA that places so much emphasis on ability and athleticism, it was not surprising to see his name not called. Nevertheless, the Raptors opportunity he received in Summer League made it clear that his game would translate in the NBA, starting with his assist numbers.
Noull’s assist average was sixth among all Summer League participants. He averaged 6.8 assists in 28 minutes per game, which is a very solid conversion rate. He had several highlight dimes and looked comfortable leading the attack on the NBA floor. However, Noull skeptics will say that the assist numbers should translate because he doesn’t have to be as physical or as brawny to make money. Which is why Marquis Nouvel’s sum total should silence those doubters.
Nowell averaged 12.0 points per game in summer league while remaining far from the number one option. He shot a solid 34% from the three-point line while not missing a single free throw throughout the tournament. There’s no doubt that being 5’7 is a handicap on the basketball court; Noull showed in summer league that he could use that to his advantage, finding lanes and opportunities that would surprise bigger, leaner guys. The fact that he can carry his own bucket and find ways to set up teammates his size on an NBA floor is a testament to his willpower. This is the primary reason he would make the Raptors opening night roster.
The only way for Novell to have an NBA career is by working harder than everyone else on a daily basis. He already lacks enormous size and athleticism, so he will have to continually develop his game in order to compete against the average NBA guy. It is clear that he can do so considering both his college and summer league performances. Novel is a perfect example of mind over matter and that anything is possible as long as enough hard work is put into it. 5’7 might not be the ideal height for the NBA, but it’s enough to have a huge heart and spirit that can lead an NBA team to victory. Although not drafted, Marquis Nouvel is going to give himself a huge chance to make the Raptors’ Opening Night roster for the 2023-2024 season.