Toronto Raptors Two-Way Player Jordan Loyd Living the NBA Dream
Undrafted in 2016 out of the University of Indianapolis, Jordan Loyd’s lifelong dream was to earn minutes on the greatest level of basketball in the world.
After a short stint in the NBA development league in 2016, Loyd opted to test his luck internationally and use it as a way to find his way back to the NBA. He would sign with Hapoel Eilat in Israel where he went on to average 17.4 points per game, earning himself All-Israeli Second Team honours. Despite spending only a year in his new home overseas, the NBA came calling for Loyd’s services and after an impressive summer of work, Loyd signed a two-way contract with the Toronto Raptors.
Alongside Canadian Chris Boucher, Loyd understood that he will be forced to split time between the main roster and the Raptors 905 in Mississauga. The limited minutes he would acquire on the NBA level will be his ticket to finding a way to stick in the NBA long term.
Then on Saturday night, Loyd got the shot he was waiting for.
“Pretty surreal moment for me,” Loyd said on Monday after scoring eight points in 12 minutes of play against the Chicago Bulls. “It felt really, really good. I’m still trying to let it set in.”
The 25 year old received the game ball from the team’s media relations people following his big performance.
“I knew they were trying to get it after the game. I didn’t know if they got it or not. So that was pretty cool that (he) actually got a chance to get it,” Loyd said. “I didn’t know if we were going to play or not. But whatever the team needed me to do, practice or whatever they needed me to do, fill in, I was going to do it. You’ve got to stay ready at all times.”
Two-way contracts is a concept recently introduced by the NBA, allowing players on two-way contracts to spend a specific number of days with the NBA team.
“That’s big. Obviously, you don’t want to want to waste a day just travelling. Anytime you can put a uniform on or practice with the guys, it’s big for me. It’s another step in the direction I want to go,” Loyd said. “It definitely boosts my morale, my confidence with the guys and me personally showing that it’s just the first of many things.”
It’s difficult for two-way players to make immediate impacts, but Loyd has very quickly made a name for himself on the Raptors bench.