Something every Toronto Raptors player can work on this offseason

(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Matt Thomas (Photo by Rodolfo Molina/EB via Getty Images) /

Matt Thomas

Matt Thomas signed with the Toronto Raptors this offseason after spending the last two years in Europe. The 24-year-old former Iowa State Cyclone was brought to Canada for one reason, his ability to shoot it.

Thomas was one of the best jumpshooters in all of Europe last season, averaging 2.2 three-point makes per game on a ridiculous 48.5-percent from beyond the arc. His numbers as a spot-up shooter were even more impressive.

But if Thomas wants to stay on the floor long enough to show off his elite marksmanship, he needs to be able to compete defensively. No, he doesn’t need to be Patrick Beverley or even Klay Thompson.  But he can’t be an overwhelming liability. He needs to find a way to be JJ Redick or Stephen Curry.

Thomas can already shoot, but his ability to improve as a defender might determine his NBA success.

Biggest area to work on: Defense

Cameron Payne

To this point in his NBA career, Cameron Payne has been a disappointment. He hasn’t performed to his draft position or even to an NBA-quality in general. Toronto is hoping they can change that.

Payne can certainly make improvements as a rebounder, defender, and passer. However, if he wants to make it in this league, his greatest improvement will need to come as a scorer.

Throughout his career, Payne has shot inefficiently at the rim, from the mid-range, and from beyond the arc.  He doesn’t need to improve all three, but he does need to find one that he can excel at.

If his most recent two stops mean anything, it’s likely going to be his three-point shooting. A below-average shooter early in his career, Payne shot greater than 35-percent from three in Cleveland and greater than 45-percent from three in Summer League.

If Payne can shoot above 35-percent from deep with the Raptors, he has a shot to make it as a real player next season. If he continues to struggle from behind the arc, he’ll likely struggle within it as well.

Biggest area to work on: Three-point shooting