The Toronto Raptors are reaching a crossroads of identity. With Nick Nurse implementing a new offensive pecking order and Kyle Lowry looking more like a trade candidate every week it may be time to turn the page on this, the sweetest chapter of Raptors basketball.
Selling the house does not mean Toronto have to live on the street. The Raptors are currently in like for a playoff spot in the East, and while trading Lowry may send Toronto into a rebuild, it doesn’t mean they have to suck.
If Lowry is moved we will need a new point guard to replace him. Malachi Flynn is currently playing in the G-League tournament, and besides Fred VanVleet there’s nobody on our roster who can spearhead an offense and consistently make plays for others. Toronto has some combo-guards and point-forwards in Normam Powell and Pascal Siakam, but no other true point guards.
Luckily there is free agent talent available, as any of these five players might be able to give Toronto some depth.
These 5 free agents could help give the Raptors some depth
No. 1 Isaiah Thomas
You may turn up your nose at a 31-year-old, 5’9, injury-prone, point guard. He hasn’t been an all-star in five years, he was ushered out by the Cavaliers, Lakers, Nuggets, and Wizards in as many years, in Washington he couldn’t crack a guard rotation of Shabazz Napier and Ish Smith. Ok, maybe this isn’t such a good idea.
Still, when looking at the free-agent market, one has to keep in mind what a team is asking from these players. What do the Raptors get in Thomas? A strong offensive player who can occasionally get you 20. An adult who’s been around the block enough times not to make dumb mistakes with the ball. And most important of all, a man with something to prove.
Thomas could be reborn in Toronto
Thomas was an MVP candidate not that long ago. He’ll never reach those heights again but he has to have something left in the tank. Even his brief cameo with the Wizards last season showed that he can still produce on the offensive end.
This is a player with pride and something to prove. Sure he’s a defensive liability, but the Raptors have a team full of perimeter defenders. No doubt they’d be able to hide Thomas on that end if they chose to pick him up.