Would the Toronto Raptors have been better than the current Clippers if Kawhi stayed?

Toronto Raptors - Serge Ibaka (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Serge Ibaka (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Danny Green #14 and Landry Shame #1 (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Shooting Guard

Toronto Raptors: Danny Green

Los Angeles Clippers: Landry Shamet

As we previously indicated, we have included Green in this position though we expect it to now be occupied by Norman Powell. At age 26, Powell is a four-year veteran of the NBA and has been a steady presence on the bench for the Raptors. He should be ready to take a step and replace Green’s minutes.

Back to our daydream.

Danny Green’s presence on the floor as a spot-up shooter terrifies defences. He can single-handedly change the momentum of a game with some well-timed shots. Even when he was experiencing shooting woes during these past playoffs, he was a valuable contributor on the defensive end. He was very close to making the 2018-19 NBA All-Defensive Second Team, finishing just 16 voting points shy of the award.

Lining up against Green is Landry Shamet, who just came off his rookie campaign. Shamet’s play earned him recognition to the tune of being named to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie Second Team. The freshman joined the Clippers in the deal that sent Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia 76ers. He thrived with his new club where he was transitioned from a reserve to a starter.

The Clippers will rely on Shamet to provide similar tools to what Green has given the Raptors. Shamet is an excellent outside shooter. Over his 25 games with the Clips, he had a three-point field goal rate of 45-percent. On the season, Green shot 45.5-percent.

This matchup is close but may even be closer if Shamet takes steps in his development in his sophomore season. Without the evidence of that progress, Green holds the upper hand. His defence and experience far surpass Shamet’s.

Advantage: Toronto Raptors