Scuttlebutt out of the Las Vegas Summer League has the Toronto Raptors giving serious consideration to asking Quincy Acy to change positions. Coach Dwane Casey thinks Quincy has the athleticism to guard the opponent’s “power-3″, a term invented to describe thick-bodied, offensive-minded uber-small forwards like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. While the notion is intriguing, the ripple effects throughout the Raps’ lineup of this inchoate move warrant consideration.
Quincy Acy was a pleasant surprise to many Raps fans last season. As a rookie, he displayed energy and desire, and more athleticism than might have been expected from a man who’s built like an NFL nose tackle. I’m certainly in favour of tossing more assignments in his direction, and seeing how he handles them. We don’t know his ceiling yet. He was drafted as an undersized power forward, and banged effectively when Amir Johnson needed a rest. If Quincy is moving to a defensive role on the perimeter next season, where does that leave Landry Fields? He’s pushed even further down the depth chart, if that’s possible, to third option at both shooting guard (behind DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross) and small forward (Rudy Gay and Quincy). That makes Landry another overpriced holdover from the Colangelo era. More importantly, what impact is there on Rudy’s minutes by this move? Does Quincy start when we’re playing the Heat? After all, LeBron plays insane minutes (41.8 PG, #4 in NBA)…is Quincy expected to guard him half of that time? That’s 20 minutes out of 48 Rudy is not in the 3 position, which will damage our offense.
I could be accused of oversimplification here. I realize players will be on the floor in different combinations, so in my above example, Rudy may move back to the 2 spot for 12-15 minutes, which gives DeMar his needed breather. But can Quincy contribute anything offensively from the perimeter, which has never been his stomping grounds? If not, quality defenses will double-team Rudy, Jonas, or the ball-handler, to our detriment. In other words, Quincy will have to spike both his defense (to cover the All-Stars who play small forward) and his offense (to pose at least a mild scoring threat, and draw his defender to him). That’s a tall order for a second-year man.
I’m not opposed to the idea of Quincy at the 3, and I’m glad that Dwane Casey is thinking imaginatively. However, I’m skeptical as to how practical this idea will turn out to be. I’ll be watching in pre-season with keen interest, and will pass along my observations.
Brian Boake is Senior Editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.