“Tried to help in his development as much as we could, but I also see the Raptors’ perspective of it and maybe it not be worth it for him to be down here and only playing 15 minutes a game.” – Erie coach Jay Larranaga on Solomon Alabi, who the Toronto Raptors recalled Monday.
Toronto Raptors rookie center Solomon Alabi never seemed to find his groove with the Erie BayHawks this season.
Third time was not a charm for Solomon Alabi.
In his third and final stint with the the Erie BayHawks, the 7-foot-1 center of the Toronto Raptors only played an average of 15.1 minutes in 11 games. NBA teams can send down their first and second-year players to NBA affiliates up to three times in a single season.
Now Alabi shot 11-of-16 from the field in his final run with Erie, but averaged just 5.5 points those 11 games.
So Erie coach Jay Larranaga wasn’t surprised the Raptors called Alabi, 23, back up Monday. In 22 games, Alabi averaged 7.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.82 blocks.
“Difficult situation for everybody,” Larranaga said after Tuesday’s practice. “First of all, Solomon is a great kid. He’s a hard worker. A very good basketball player, but he’s young. The reason he was down here was to get playing experience. Our situation was difficult because we added more veteran guys. We added Erik Daniels. With how well Kyle (Goldcamp) and Ivan (Johnson) and Tas(min Mitchell) had been playing, it was a lot of good players for not enough minutes.
“So I totally understand the Raptors’ point of view. Did my best to get Solomon as much playing time as I felt I could while still being fair to the other players and still put in the best position for the playoffs. Felt very fortunate to have much as much as we did this year. Tried to help in his development as much as we could, but I also see the Raptors’ perspective of it and maybe it not be worth it for him to be down here and only playing 15 minutes a game.”