Ponds agreed to a one-year contract Wednesday with Italian club Virtus Roma, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.com reports. The undrafted rookie out of St. John's opened the season as a two-way player for the Raptors, appearing in four games at the NBA level before he was released in mid-January. Rather than trying to find an opportunity in the G League, Ponds will head overseas for what's presumably a more lucrative opportunity in Italy. His deal will expire in the summer, so Ponds could return to North America at that time with the hope of getting another look from NBA teams.
The Raptors waived Ponds on Wednesday. A high-volume scorer during his college days at St. John's, Ponds went undrafted last June but was able to earn a two-way spot for the Raptors late in the preseason after an abbreviated stint with the Rockets. Ponds went on to play in only four games at the NBA level and didn't make enough of an impression during his extended action in G League. Over his 18 appearances with the Raptors 905, Ponds averaged 14.4 points and a 3.3:1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio while shooting just 41.6 percent from the field and 25.2 percent from distance.
The Raptors list Ponds as available for Tuesday's game against the Trail Blazers, Blake Murphy of The Athletic reports. As one of the Raptors' two-way players, Ponds is limited to just 45 days at the NBA level this season. Since Fred VanVleet (hamstring) is sitting out Tuesday, Toronto likely viewed it as an optimal time to bring Ponds aboard as a depth option in the backcourt. Ponds has only made four appearances for the Raptors this season, averaging just 2.8 minutes.
Ponds posted 21 points (8-17 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 2-2 FT), four rebounds and six assists in Saturday's G League win over Grand Rapids. This was Ponds' first game back in the G League after a short stint with the big club. He posted five points in two minutes of action. The 21-year-old continues to be quite productive in the G League, as he's hit 42.4 percent of field goals this year and averaged 14.3 points per game.
Ponds was assigned to the G League on Friday, Blake Murphy of The Athletic reports. Ponds was brought up to the parent club Sunday, and he logged two minutes and scored five points in Tuesday's matchup with the Cavs. He'll head back down to the G League following Friday's move, where he figures to see more run.
Last 7 Games
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