The Toronto Raptors need all hands on deck this 2023-24 season.
Beyond the starters on this team, the role players will be equally important for how far the Raptors will go.
Here are some key role players who can help make an immediate impact for Toronto.
Otto Porter Jr.
This one is a big if. Of course Otto Porter Jr. only played 8 games for the Raptors last season. Otto Porter Jr. injured his foot which required season-ending surgery.
He picked up his $6.3 million player option for the 2023-24 season back on April 25, according to Shams Charania.
According to one league executive per an article from Sportsnet’s Michael Grange, they said nobody wants Otto Porter Jr. “He’s frail. He’s always a lay-up away from being out six-to-eight weeks.”
There are a lot of questions marks with Otto Porter Jr. but if he can stay healthy he can be a key piece from off the bench. He can be a solid 3-and-D player for the Raptors, which is what they envisioned when they signed him.
Video surfaced of Otto Porter Jr. practicing on June 30:
Otto Porter Jr training for the upcoming season.
Really hope he can stay healthy, he has the potential to be a key bench piece🙏 pic.twitter.com/tdvJz5cT0l
— . (@GTJGotNext) June 30, 2023
Porter Jr. was a key piece during the Warriors 2021-22 championship run and provided the glue to all sorts of lineups. He’s an experienced veteran who can help this Raptors team immeditaely with his shooting and defence.
The key for him is just staying healthy.
The Raptors drafted Gradey Dick No. 13 overall at the 2023 NBA Draft.
Dick wasn’t supposed to be still on the board, but he fell right to the Raptors.
He’s regarded as one of the best shooters of his draft class and that will instantly help a Raptors team that ranked 27th overall in shooting this past season.
Dick has a chance to be an immediate impact player for the Raptors from off the bench and help the Raptors greatly with his 3-point shooting.
He converted 40.3 percent of his 206 3-point attempts as a freshman at Kansas.
The Raptors are hoping that translates to the NBA level.
Whether he’s a starter or sixth man for the Raptors, there’s no denying Dennis Schroder will be an impactful player from the jump.
Following Fred VanVleet’s departure to the Houston Rockets, the Raptors responded by signing Denis Schroder to a two-year, $26 million deal, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Schroder won’t replace VanVleet but he comes at a much more reasonable price for Toronto.
He averaged 12.6 points and 4.5 assists per game while shooting 41.5% from the floor and 32.9% from three-point range in 66 games for the Los Angeles Lakers last season.
Schroder is a versatile point guard, capable of scoring himself or distributing the ball to his teammates.
If he is the Raptors sixth man and back up point guard, he’s a guy who can inject some life into the second unit immediately.
Raptors role players key to success
The Raptors will need their starters to be sharp, but they also need their role players to fill in the gaps.
Toronto’s bench has a chance to be solid with guys like Otto Porter Jr., Gradey Dick and Dennis Schroder.
These are 3 players in particular who can make a big difference for the Raptors this season.
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