Toronto Raptors: How the Kawhi Leonard trade impacts every player

Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – DECEMBER 29: Norman Powell
TORONTO, ON – DECEMBER 29: Norman Powell /

C.J. Miles: Potential shift to power forward

With one less traditional center in the rotation, Toronto will be playing smaller this season.

Nick Nurse has repeatedly stressed the importance of modernizing the team. One potential method is to play less traditional power forwards.

With Ibaka, and possibly Siakam, spending more time at center, Toronto will look towards its current wings to play minutes at power forward. The two obvious candidates are OG Anunoby and C.J. Miles.

To this point in his career, Miles has played very little time at power forward. But he has also played for traditional coaches the majority of his career, and as mentioned earlier, the league is changing.

P.J. Tucker was a small forward for the Raptors. He was the backup center in Houston this postseason.

As with most small-ball power forwards, Miles will need help defensively. Luckily the team just received an inject of wing defenders who are capable of switching and swarming opponents.

Perhaps Miles is incapable of playing power forward, even part-time. Good or bad, chances are we will find out this season.

Norman Powell: Makes playing time harder to earn

It’s easy to forget that Norman Powell was not only in the rotation, but a starter, to begin last season.

Life comes at you fast. Powell’s poor play, along with the emergence of OG Anunoby, resulted in Powell being left out of the team’s 10-man rotation.

Now with the addition of two veteran wings, playing time will be even harder to earn for Powell, who already faced an up-hill battle to make the rotation before the trade.

Trending. Best case/worst case for the Toronto Raptors this season. light

With very little chance to make the rotation and an estimated $30 million tax-bill, Powell has been the subject of much trade speculation. However with no 2019 first round pick and Powell’s considerable contract, any deal involving Powell would likely need to include a young player to help sweeten the pot. 

If Powell is not able to make the rotation Toronto is stuck between a rock and a hard place. This trade made that scenario even more likely.