The Toronto Raptors are set to play Australian professional basketball team Cairns Taipans in their second preseason game on Oct. 15 at Scotiabank Arena.
A topic of discussion that has come up is how Darko Rajakovic will utilize his rotations this season. Rajakovic played 15 players during the Raptors first preseason game against the Sacramento Kings. However, that will surely shrink as the regular season rolls around.
When asked about limiting in-game minutes and not wearing out his star players, Rajakovic talked about his plans for Toronto’s rotation:
“I want to have 10 guys in the rotation so more players have less minutes per game and that way they can be ready to play over the long season. Sometimes 9 depending on opponents and depending on where we are with the health of everything. But I like having 10 guys available to play every single night.”
Using a 10-man rotation will be a nice change for the Raptors this season especially since former head coach Nick Nurse usually deployed a shorter rotation.
What will the Raptors rotation be?
The top six players of the Raptors rotation will surely be Dennis Schroder who was revealed as the Raptors starting point guard in the preseason opener, O.G. Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Jakob Poeltl and Gary Trent Jr. who’s slated as the teams sixth man.
That leaves four spots left. Precious Achiuwa who missed the first preseason game due to injury will get a spot. Jalen McDaniels who impressed in his Raptors preseason debut will get one too. Chris Boucher will likely be a staple of the rotation as well.
That leaves one spot open for rookie Gradey Dick, Otto Porter Jr., Thad Young, Malachi Flynn, Garrett Temple, Christian Koloko and possibly even Jeff Dowtin if Toronto keeps him.
Ultimately, the Raptors final rotation spot could come down to veteran Otto Porter Jr. who seems healthy or rookie Gradey Dick.
The Raptors need more shooting in the second until and both guys can do just that. Porter Jr. is a better defender than Dick so if Porter Jr. stays healthy he could be the guy who gets the last spot with Dick coming in if someone’s having an off night or an injury occurs.
However, the Raptors selected Dick No. 13 overall in the 2023 NBA Draft so not playing him consistently could hurt his development.
The Raptors have a decision to make moving forward.
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