The Raptors are trying to swing

The outskirts of a training camp roster are littered with forgotten officials and youngsters desperately trying to get into the NBA through the back door. All the participants are trying to show that they can translate what they do well at the NBA level and that they can improve what they do poorly. A couple like Mad Max and Furiosa, in search of redemption and a new beginning.

Josh Jackson’s 9 exposure deal (training camp, no guaranteed money) was a risk-free, useful midfielder for a player who had shown a couple of different skills at the NBA level, but remains a player who offers less flare. and less impact than most in the NBA. teams are looking for. The result? He is fighting for an NBA spot with no guarantees. Heading into his sixth season, and as the fourth overall pick in the draft, that’s less than ideal. As a point of reference, Juancho Hernangomez and Svi Mykhailiuk have guaranteed money on the Raptors’ books this year.

The biggest consensus for Jackson is that if he starts throwing 3-ball well, other aspects of his game will benefit, his teammates will benefit and that a skill will help bring about a renaissance in your career. If his court presence doesn’t ruin the offense, perhaps the Raptors can find time to build on their superior athleticism and consistently above-average block and steal rates on the defensive side of things. Maybe there’s a rotation player somewhere. In business, this is called a swing skill. That’s how it is. This article is not about the Masai’s mad rush to try to trade for Giannis Antetokounmpo, or his selection of Bruno Caboclo, or any kind of home run at bat. swing skills.

Many players reach this point in their careers.

Dalano Banton, despite the interesting size, handling and dash of passing ability, will be up against this very thing. All those things remain locked behind a door called advantage. If Banton isn’t already operating from a vantage point on the floor, nothing he does well can prosper. If he develops a significant jump shot to catch and shoot? Well, that means he can draw hard shutdowns and put the ball on the ground with it. size, handle and style that will inevitably create a good appearance for himself and for others. For now? He faces stale defenses that give him the jump shot and keep his possessions frozen above the break.

Justin Champagnie unloading more than six 3-pointers per game with the 905 (and shooting 40 percent) isn’t done on a whim. He has an uncanny ability to bounce basketball., has exceptional time as a cutter and is an ambidextrous finisher. If you throw the ball well at the NBA level, you immediately gain access to a new game of cat and mouse where your defender has to float to the perimeter to defend you, back up against cuts, put you in more room for box outs, and so on. means more triples, layups and ORBS for him. Not to mention, a cutter of his caliber will drag defenders in and out of help defense pockets when his teammates need lanes to drive. The utility is there. Therefore, he is throwing himself away.

Every morning, I have to get there at 8:30, do my little, you know, before the game, not before the game, but as a pre-practice warm-up. And then I hit the court at 9:00 and I shoot 200 3s, just corner 3s, 200 corner 3s every day. And I’ve stuck to that for the last two weeks. And you know, it’s paying off. So I’m going to continue to do that and I’m going to continue to take them down for the team.

Justin Champagnie, January 2022

Thad Young is a man with a successful late-career swing. The mobility and burst that fueled his tweener style in the early 2010s had slowed considerably and he turned to his readings of the floor and the passing that followed to power his game. tagic Johnson was born, as he became one of the best short players in the entire league and a tremendous shooter in delay actions, DHO packs, and some split-action work.

The Bulls were -5.2 points per 100 possessions worse on offense with Young on the floor in 2018-19 (champ Raptors, nice). Next year? His assist rate nearly tripled, and he was 5 times less likely to attempt a 3-pointer while he was there. The Bulls were 11.1 points per 100 possessions better with him on the ground. One of the biggest swings in the NBA that year. The pass suddenly made his live dribbling dangerous again. Sure, he wasn’t threatening the rim like he used to, but he was transporting himself to places where new passing angles presented themselves. It’s never a bad thing to be a better marksman, but sometimes there are better ways to use a skill set. Young serves as a great reminder of that.

The aforementioned Hernangomez has rarely struggled with his offensive utility. There is a reasonable hitting 3 (6 straight 3-pointers in the EuroBasket final was no joke), a keen awareness of opportunities and the size to fit in as a blocker. Maybe you think you can be the first team to get him to buy rebounds since he left Denver? Perhaps you think there is some latent ability with its handle? Or maybe you really liked his movie? None of that matters if you don’t improve something on defense.

A hard and fast rule of getting Hernangomez on the floor during his career is that your defense will suffer. Too slow at the point of attack to hang out with anyone he’s dribbled around, and too small to deal with bigger, stronger players. His place on the Raptors is his boldest gamble yet. In the Raptors scheme, you don’t necessarily have to face the fast players or hang out with the strong ones: you have to be a thoughtful and proactive member of the horde. If Hernang√≥mez does this, it is possible that he can imitate some of the impact Boucher found last year on defense, and the Raptors could dig deeper into what he’s done Bo Cruz such an interesting offense.

Along with the Raptors’ development team, who knows what success these players could find? The Raptors champion team likely featured 3 Hall of Famers (Leonard, Gasol, Lowry), but much of the team’s success came from a plethora of players who had less apparent paths to success. The shooting of Norm Powell and Fred VanVleet was a major and minor college event, but VanVleet’s unique path to elite defender status was not a given in the slightest.. Pascal Siakam’s growth with the ball was far from a fact.

The rise of Raptors stars from seasons in the G-League to All-Star status doesn’t guarantee that outcome for those who follow the path, but it does illustrate the Raptors as one of the top developmental homes in the NBA.

Have a good day.

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