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Blazers Take Intriguing Flyer on Dalano Banton

Dalano Banton makes perfect sense on a Blazers team in need of guard help.

Indiana Pacers v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Dalano Banton was dealt to the Portland Trail Blazers in the final moments before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. After signing with the Boston Celtics in the offseason, the 6-8 guard has seen little court time with the contending franchise after spending two years with his hometown Toronto Raptors. He was actually the first Canadian drafted by the franchise.

The Celtics secured the Canadian on a two-year, $4.2 million deal in July. He subsequently appeared in 24 games, averaging 2.3 point on 12.5 percent from three, 1.5 boards and 0.8 assists in 7.1 minutes. A slight drop on his career 3.4 points on 25.4 percent from three, 1.7 boards and 1.3 assists in 9.6 minutes.

The 24-year-old is an intriguing still-young point guard with small forward size and moves mimicking post knee-injury Shaun Livingston. He’s clearly not as good as the Golden State Warriors champion but Banton’s ballhandling, playmaking and ability to defend multiple positions are somewhat similar.

The 2021 second-round pick is more than competent guarding at the point of attack. He’s also opportunistic on that end, able to prowl the passing lanes and make good decisions with the help of a 6-10 wingspan.

While his shooting splits can be best described as dismal, Banton’s shot mechanics aren’t awful. In two games with Boston’s G League affiliate Maine Celtics this season, the lanky guard put up 59 points, shooting 33.3 percent from three, hinting at room for improvement.

Banton is comfortable getting downhill, able to finish with either hand. While not the greatest athlete, he does boast an explosive first step and decent enough foot speed.

His career high came during his Raptors tenure, registering 27 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks in November 2022 against the Detroit Pistons.

Banton will get minutes in Portland. Shaedon Sharpe is out for weeks, Scoot Henderson and Malcolm Brogdon missed last night while Anfernee Simons suffered an ankle injury during the game.

Banton’s ceiling is an effective NBA rotation player. His floor is having next season’s team option declined. But the Canadian is worth a look, if only to get another backcourt body in to help Jerami Grant generate offense when there’s no one else.