Acquiring talent through the draft is one thing, putting them in position to succeed is entirely another. Raptors 905 has proven to be an incredible incubator of development for Toronto, providing a platform for a lot of the current core to improve and harness skills for the NBA level.
Every great franchise has its own competitive advantage: the Lakers have their history and location, the Spurs’ secret sauce for years was load management before it became the ‘it’ thing, while the Warriors and Bulls took advantage of cap situations better than anyone for their dynasties. For the Raptors, it’s the 905. Only Miami can come close to rivaling the success the Raptors have had in graduating players from their development program to the highest level.
While players around the league may still frown upon getting “sent down,” the Raptors have done well to destigmatize that notion as much as possible. Imagine coming to Toronto and saying you’re not willing to work on your game with the 905 when Siakam and VanVleet stand as the pillars of the franchise’s future—it’s not happening.