The NBA season officially got underway tonight in Boston, and the Raptors are home to face the Knicks tomorrow night in their opener. Wrapping up our Raptors Preview is rookie Solomon Alabi, who was drafted in the second round by the Mavs and acquired by Toronto in a trade:
He’s massive, raw, and admittedly I don’t know all that much about him. Rounding out the Raptors’ 15-man roster to start the season is 7’1″ Nigerian Solomon Alabi, who was scooped up by Dallas 50th overall and dealt to Toronto for cash on draft night. In three years at Florida State, the big fella turned in averages of 9.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks, including highs of 11.7, 6.2 and 2.3 this past year.
Alabi saw just 23 minutes of action in the preseason, and from how he looked in a three-minute cameo in the finale against the Knicks, appears to need a great deal of fine tuning before becoming a useful NBA player. That, of course, is where the beauty of the D-League kicks in. Don’t be surprised to see the rookie spend much of the year working on his game in the minors, because he won’t see anything close to a meaningful minute with the big boys anytime soon. Not that there’s anything wrong with that from a second-round pick — at his size and with his shot-blocking ability, the Raptors will definitely be willing to wait and give him a good look.
According to reports, Alabi’s offensive game is far from advanced, and without a noted low-post scorer on the roster, he isn’t likely to pick up much from any teammates. He does, on the other hand, have a few grinders in Reggie Evans, Amir Johnson and Joey Dorsey that he may be able to pick up a thing or two from. Wherever he ends up, Alabi is in for a learning experience in 2010-11.
2009-10 at Florida State: 32 games, 53.4% from the field and 79.4% from the line, 11.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 25.6 minutes per game.
What to expect: Very few minutes, if any. If the Raptors’ season turns out like it’s looking to, he may get a bit of an opportunity in the second half of the season.
Check out the other Raptors we’ve previewed: Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Jarrett Jack, Sonny Weems, Reggie Evans, Leandro Barbosa, Amir Johnson, Linas Kleiza, Julian Wright, David Andersen, Ed Davis, Marcus Banks and Joey Dorsey.