Alabi in tough with Raptors
By Ryan Wolstat, QMI Agency
|Raptors head coach Dwane Casey offers instruction to Solomon Alabi (left) and Jamaal Magloire during a recent team workout. (MIKE PEAKE/QMI Agency)
Solomon Alabi has taken some strides since last year, but remains very much a work in progress.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey likes the 7-foot-1 centre’s work ethic and some of the things he brings to the table, but recognizes that what Alabi needs most of all, probably can’t be provided by the club this season.
“Really, Solo needs to play more than anything else to learn the NBA game and adjust to the speed,” Casey said after practice on Friday.
“A summer league would have been great for him. All the workout drills don’t really help him (as much as game situations).”
Casey admitted that the NBA Development League could be an option for Alabi this season, though such a move likely wouldn’t come anytime soon since: “right now, we need all the healthy bodies.”
Alabi got into only 12 games as a rookie last season, scoring six points and hauling down 14 rebounds in 59 total minutes. Alabi played 22 games for Erie of the NBDL, averaging 7.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 18.5 minutes per game.
“He has a nose for the ball rebounding-wise, excellent athlete and is an excellent stand-still shooter,” Casey said when asked to appraise Alabi’s strengths.
Alabi has an influential backer in his former coach at Florida State, ex-NBA head coach Leonard Hamilton, who recruited Casey to Kentucky.
“(Hamilton) raves about him. He’s been calling me all summer promoting him and talking about him,” Casey said.
But with Aaron Gray, Jamaal Magloire, Amir Johnson and Andrea Bargnani available to play centre in certain situations, the minutes Alabi needs to develop simply aren’t available.