Dalano Banton’s decision to enter the 2021 NBA Draft after playing one season at Nebraska has paid off.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Blake Murphy, Banton is signing a two-year, $2.5 million contract with the Toronto Raptors. Murphy reported the first year of the deal is fully guaranteed while the second holds a partial guarantee.
The Raptors picked Banton with the 46th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, making him the first native Canadian the franchise has ever drafted.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) August 14, 2021
After redshirting during the 2019-20 season following his transfer from Western Kentucky, Banton started 22 of 27 games for the Huskers in 2020-21, averaging 9.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.9 blocks in 27.3 minutes per game while shooting 41.1% from the field, 24.7% from 3 and 65.9% from the free-throw line. He led the team in rebounds, assists and blocks and recorded the program’s second triple-double in a win over NAIA Doane in December.
Banton came off the bench in Toronto’s first three games at the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 7.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.8 steals in 19 minutes per game. He recorded a double-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks in Toronto’s loss to Golden State on Wednesday.
David Johnson, who the Raptors picked one spot after Banton, signed a two-way deal with the Raptors, as did undrafted free agent Justin Champagnie. Toronto selected Florida State wing Scottie Barnes with the fourth overall pick.
Banton joins Isaiah Roby as Huskers currently in the NBA. Roby started 34 games for the Thunder last season, averaging 8.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in 23.4 minutes per game. His contract for the 2021-22 season became guaranteed on Aug. 3.
The Raptors have two more games left in Vegas, starting with Saturday’s tilt against the Charlotte Hornets set for a 6 p.m. CT tipoff on NBA TV.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.