Raptors905 News

Raptors 905 acquire Aaron Best; add Kaza Keane, Richard Amardi to camp roster

CIS stand up!

Raptors 905 have acquired Aaron Best from the Long Island Nets, Raptors Republic has learned. The 905 will send the returning player rights to Shannon Scott in exchange.

The Nets selected Best with the No. 42 pick in Saturday’s G-League Draft. Best participated in the Raptors 905 open tryout in September and obviously impressed enough for the 905 to make sure they walked into training camp Monday with him in the fold.

Best will become the first player from CIS/USports to suit up for the 905 and the first Ryerson University product to play in the G-League. A Scarborough native, Best spent five seasons with the Rams, leading them to an OUA Championship in his final season, 2015-16, earning CIS Second-Team All-Canadian, OUA First-Team All-Star, and Ryerson Male Athlete of the Year Honors. Over his five seasons, he averaged 14 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting 48.8 percent overall and 39.1 percent on a high volume of threes. no CIS player has played in the NBA since Jim Zoet in 1983.

From there, Best went overseas to play Lithuania for his first professional season. In 57 games with Juventus, Best averaged 7.2 points on 50-percent true-shooting, kicking in 2.8 rebounds and one assist in his 19.8 minutes.

Now 25, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard will look to fight his way onto the 905 regular season roster, where he’d add guard depth and more switchability to a backcourt rotation flush with versatility and length. He’d also bring shooting, which could be at a small premium depending on how the 905 fill out their guard and wing rotation. An exciting player known for his aggression attacking the rim, Best should win fans for more than just his birthplace if the makes the team, as he’s also a pretty exciting leaper.

Raptors 905 invite Kaza Keane, 3 others to camp as local tryouts.

Raptors Republic has also learned that Carleton alum Kaza Keane will be among the four “local tryout” players invited to training camp.

Coming out of Ajax, Keane played his high school ball at Christian Faith Academy, then went south to Illinois State. After two seasons there, he transferred to Cleveland State, then took a year off to transfer to Carleton. Joining the powerhouse program proved a seamless fit, and Keane helped lead them to a sixth- and seventh-consecutive national championship, earning the USports Final 8 MVP award in 2017. For his Carleton career, he averaged 14.8 points on 50.6/34.7/78.8 shooting, 4.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.2 steals.

The 6-foot-2 guard also represented Canada at the 2017 Universiade Tournament, leading the event in field goals and averaging 20.4 points over eight games. Still just 23, it will be interesting to see if Keane can crack the roster, either beating Best out or joining him as the first CIS products on the 905.

Joining Keane will be Richard Amardi, Andre Washington, and Roger Moute a Bidias. Amardi has spent his most recent seasons in the NBL and has taken marked strides, even earning a spot on Canada’s team at the FIBA AmeriCup this summer. Moute a Bidias, the brother of NBA player Luc Mbah a Moute, was born in Cameroon and just finished up at Cal. Washington is a 7-foot-1 center out of Wake Forest who is apparently a wrestling fan, so we’ll get along fine.

Where things stand

Each of the tryouts and draftees will now fight for a spot on the opening-night roster. Training camp is set to officially open on Monday, with a pair of preseason games on Oct. 28 and 30. The roster for camp can be as large as 17, including the two-way players. Teams have to trim their roster to 12 (including two-ways) by Nov. 2, not including any potential NBA assignments. The season officially gets underway Nov. 3, when the parent club can begin assigning players, but the 905 don’t tip of their regular-season schedule until Nov. 5.

The camp roster is comprised of the following:

  • Two-Ways: Lorenzo Brown and Malcolm Miller
  • Affiliate Players: Kyle Wiltjer, Kennedy Meeks
  • Returning Rights: Edy Tavares, Davion Berry, Negus Webster-Chan
  • Rights Acquired: Aaron Best
  • Draft Picks: Kethan Savage, Liam McMorrow Eric Washington, Jamaal Brantley
  • Local Tryouts: Kaza Keane, Richard Amardi, Andre Washington, Roger Moute a Bidias

The 905 have one spot on their 17-man camp roster that remains open and still also technically have two Affiliate Player slots they can use, though Alfonzo McKinnie and K.J. McDaniels would both be ineligible if waived. They also hold the No. 14 waiver priority, should any players sign G-League contracts late and make themselves available that way.

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