Toronto Raptors: Who should start when Kawhi Leonard is resting?

Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Malcolm Miller (Photo by Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /

Malcolm Miller

Recently returning from a torn labrum suffered at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Malcolm Miller was rewarded with an NBA contract with the Toronto Raptors.

Miller featured for the Raptors fifteen times last season and even started in four of those games. In his fifteen games with Toronto in 2017-18, Miller averaged 2.5 points and one rebound per game. Those stats won’t blow you away but he was something of a stabilizing force for the Raptors whenever he played, as they went 15-0 whenever Miller saw the floor last season.

Since signing for the Raptors on February 10, Miller has only featured in one game for the Raptors, the 23-point victory over the Boston Celtics at the end of the month. Miller played just over four minutes in that game, albeit garbage time minutes, but still finished with three points, courtesy of a deep ball.

Miller might not be the fanciest option on the card, but as a lengthy wing who can defend well and knock down open shots, he seems to fit into the team seamlessly. He can perform a low-usage, high-efficiency type job that we saw from OG Anunoby throughout all of last season.

Having another player capable of stretching the floor and defender that can guard at the perimeter would be exactly what this team needs. They lose a playmaker without Kawhi on the court but still having Lowry, Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam, it doesn’t harm them all that much.

The fact that Miller has rarely suited up with the Raptors means Nurse won’t be pulling someone from the bench to play with the starting unit. Miller hasn’t had the opportunity to build up cohesion with the bench yet so this could be a beneficial move for both units.