7/27/13

Dwight Buycks: Filler or Future?

With the exception of Jose Calderon the Raptors haven't had much success in culling back up guards from ambiguity. Will Solomon, Quincy Douby, Bobby Brown, Ben Uzoh - just to name a few of the bench fodder floor generals of recent memory (none of which are still in the league). When the Raptors plucked Dwight Buycks from BCM Gravelines of France, it felt like more of the same as many a fan asked themselves 'who?' And 'how the hell do you pronounce that?' It's pronounced 'Bikes', by the way. But following an impressive showing at both Orlando (Thunder) and Vegas (Raptors) NBA Summer Leagues, fans are now asking themselves 'how good can this guy be?'

Personally, I didn't watch Buycks suit up for the Thunder during the Orlando Summer League. Masai Ujiri, however, must have liked what he saw from the undrafted product out of Marquette, inking Buycks to guaranteed one-year deal. "Dwight will pick up full court. He's aggressive",  Ujiri speaking in particular about Buycks' ability on the defensive end. On the other side of the ball, Buycks showcased a number of skills in Vegas that could very well bode favorably for a smooth transition at the next level. He routinely found his way into the lane, either beating his man in transition, straight up in the half court, or patiently brushing him off a screen. Not only does he possess quickness, he knows how to harness it, freezing defenders with a hesitation dribble only to explode by them moments later. In other words, he shifts gears - like a 10 speed Buyck. Against Phoenix, Buycks got to the rim at will, totaling 28 points, mostly on lay ups:



He was so good off the dribble he didn't have to rely on his jumper much. That will certainly change once he faces NBA competition. But judging by his numbers with Gravelines last year he appears to be a capable outside shooter at 39.7% on 46-116 from distance. Buycks advertised extensive vision as well, dishing no-look helpers on the break and finding shooters on the button with cross-court one-handed bullet assists. Listed at 6'3", he also possesses solid size at the point.

After going undrafted in 2011, Buycks spent time in the NBA Developmental League, and last year in France. Now, he looks poised to prove he belongs in the NBA. On the other hand, it's just summer league, which can be downright illusory. So, how good can Dwight Buycks be? If given a fair shake in Toronto, good enough to earn an extended residence in the league, and possibly prove an integral spoke in the Raptor's wheel of success moving forward.

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