The Toronto Raptors have filled out their training camp roster by signing Eric Moreland to a partially guaranteed one-year deal, according to a report from Michael Scotto of The Athletic.
It would seem likely once again that Moreland will be in camp on an Exhibit 10 deal, one that would allow him to compete for a roster spot out of camp and, failing that, be converted to a two-way player or earn a $50,000 bonus for agreeing to join Raptors 905 of the G League if he’s waived.
At this point, Moreland has more than proven himself at the G League level, but with the Raptors deep into the luxury tax, it would seem unlikely they’ll roster a 15th player full-time. Moreland would make for interesting frontcourt depth on a two-way deal, and it’s possible he and Chris Boucher will be in a sort of competition for that second two-way contract. Whereas Boucher has a higher ceiling, the 26-year-old Moreland would offer some stability in the event Jonas Valanciunas or Greg Monroe were to get hurt. At 6-foot-10 and 240 pounds, Moreland offers size and physicality that no other camp player can.
Undrafted out of Oregon State in 2014, Moreland played his way into a deal with the Sacramento Kings through Summer League, but after just three NBA appearances and multiple G League assignments, he tore the labrum in his left shoulder and missed the remainder of the season. The Kings would bring him back in for camp the following year and he’d once again make the team, but a broke bone in his foot cost him eight weeks and limited him to just eight NBA games on the year. From there, Moreland spent 2016-17 in the G League full-time, earning an All-Star appearance, All-G League Third Team, and All-G League Defensive Team honors.
That was enough to land Moreland a multi-tiered partial guarantee with the Detroit Pistons last year, and he’d last the whole season on the roster backing up Andre Drummond. Even with a solid showing, the Pistons waived him in July before his contract could guarantee for 2018-19.
All told, Moreland has appeared in 78 career NBA games, averaging two points, 3.7 rebounds, one assist, and 0.7 blocks in 11 minutes while shooting 54.3 percent from the floor. In 56 G League games, the numbers have been more impressive, as he’s averaged 12.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.6 steals, and 2.5 blocks while shooting 56.5 percent. To date, Moreland has only hit one in-game three at either level, which speaks to his more traditional scoring skillset. That shouldn’t undersell his talent, though, as he’s a willing passer with decent vision for an interior big. Most of Moreland’s value comes on the glass, where he grades as elite, and as a physical defender – his predictive Defensive PIPM for next season is in the 98th percentile, while his offense is in the sixth percentile, per work from Jacob Goldstein.
There’s a lot to like in a profile like that as it pertains to a potential fifth natural big on the roster. Again, it seems unlikely the Raptors carry 15, but with only Valanciunas, Monroe, Serge Ibaka, and Pascal Siakam on the NBA roster, some interior depth in the system could be a nice insurance policy, and Moreland is pretty safely at least the caliber of a third-string center, with a bit more upside than that if he can improve his shot and his hands. At this point, he’d probably have to rate as the favorite or co-favorite with Boucher to earn the second two-way deal