As we all know, the Toronto Raptors season has come and gone after a very disappointing, yet understandable year. The Raptors are now shifting their focus towards the coming off-season and into next season after not qualifying for a playoff spot for the first time in quite some time.
With some decisions to make this off-season, there are also some current players on the team right now that could definitely see even bigger roles next season as they’ve taken another step in their development.
There are some questions surrounding this team still, including the quandary of Kyle Lowry potentially leaving, whether Masai Ujiri wants to continue being a part of this organization, and what the roster will look like.
Next season there could be significant roles for some players we saw this past season. If they play their cards right, they could end up as part of the long-term plan as the Raptors look to rebuild.
These 3 Toronto Raptors could see increased roles next season.
3. SF Yuta Watanabe
Watanabe will be looked at as more of a consistent option coming off the bench for the Toronto Raptors next season, as they’ll be looking for more quality from the second unit next year. Watanabe was given multiple looks this season, and for the most part, he looked pretty good nonetheless.
Obviously, if you look at his stats from this year they don’t jump out at you, but for someone who averaged 14 minutes a night on the floor while having pretty good shooting splits, he will be given more of an opportunity in a more important role next season.
Yuta signed a two-year, $2.085M contract that guaranteed him for the rest of the 2020-21 season. The 2021-22 season is non-guaranteed, but if I had to put money on it, he’ll be back next year. If not, I’d actually be shocked by that decision.
Yuta Watanabe will help the Raptors next season.
There’s a good sign that he’s somewhat locked up for next season and doesn’t have to worry about his contract. But he’s someone I’m very high on for next year that will take another step in the development of his game and will be a key contributor for the Raptors coming off the bench.
This past season he averaged a stat line of 4.4 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game, and 0.8 assists per game while having shooting splits of 44% from the field, 40% from 3-point range, and 83% from the line. which is amazing splits, to be honest.
He didn’t average a ton of points, but he shot the ball very efficiently from the floor and if he took more shots he would’ve had a better stat line. When paired with solid defense, he should be a contributor in 2021-22.