Former Hawks big man Edy Tavares, waived by Atlanta earlier this season, is nearing an agreement to join Raptors 905, Toronto’s D-League affiliate, reports international basketball journalist David Pick (via Twitter). If and when Tavares officially signs, he’ll remain an NBA free agent, as the Raptors would only hold his D-League rights.
Players can’t sign outright with D-League teams, instead signing a D-League contract and entering the league’s player pool, where teams can claim them. As D-League Digest tweets, the Northern Arizona Suns, the club with the top waiver priority in the D-League, claimed Johnny O’Bryant today. With the move, the Raptors’ D-League squad has moved up to the top waiver spot, giving them the opportunity to land Tavares, per Chris Reichert of The Step Back (Twitter link).
The 43rd overall pick in the 2014 draft, Tavares joined the Hawks for the 2015/16 season, appearing in just 11 games and averaging 6.6 minutes per contest. The 24-year-old Cape Verde native also made 29 D-League appearances, averaging 9.2 PPG, 8.4 RPG, and 3.3 BPG in 21.6 minutes per game. The Hawks decided to move on from him earlier this year when they needed an opening on their 15-man roster to sign Ryan Kelly.
Tavares received interest from the Spanish club FC Barcelona, according to a recent report, and likely would’ve had other opportunities overseas if he chose to pursue them. His decision to head to the D-League instead suggests he hopes to get another shot with an NBA team.