Toronto Raptors rookie and former Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell appears to be following in the footsteps of former point guard Fred Van Vleet in more ways than one. Nowell, who went undrafted just like Van Vleet did, is making big promises about what he's going to accomplish as a Raptor, similar to what Van Vleet did all those years ago when he made an optimistic speech at his draft party after going unselected.
Nowell posted a confident take on his own Instagram account, via the Daily Hive:
“One day, I’m gonna have everything I prayed for. I really believe it,” Nowell posted to his Instagram story.
In another story, Nowell shared, “I will make history as the best Raptor to ever put on a uniform.”
Nowell certainly has a steep hill to climb to become the best Raptor to ever put on a uniform. DeMar DeRozan, Tracy McGrady, Kyle Lowry, and Van Vleet all had great careers with the franchise, but Nowell's confidence and willingness to bet on himself has led him to unexpected amounts of success in the past.
At just 5-foot-7, Markquis Nowell was dominant on the collegiate level last year as a senior at Kansas State, averaging 17.6 points, 8.3 assists, and 2.6 steals a game while winning the 2022-23 Bob Cousy Award that goes to the best guard in college basketball. Nowell helped Kansas State storm to the Elite 8, putting on multiple impressive performances throughout the tournament.
Nowell could work his way into early playing time on a Raptors team that just lost Van Vleet to the Houston Rockets in free agency. Toronto's depth chart at point guard isn't overwhelmingly impressive, and the team may be on the cusp of a rebuilding process with Pascal Siakam's contract expiring after this season.
Markquis Nowell has already received a shoutout from one of the NBA's best small point guards in history and former Toronto Raptor, Muggsy Bogues. Perhaps following in Muggsy Bogues' and Fred Van Vleet's footsteps will help Nowell accomplish his rather lofty goals, and generate some more hype for a franchise in need of some positive news.