We continue our offseason previews, by taking a look at Matt Thomas, an international signing from Valencia who will be looking to make an impact for the Toronto Raptors next season.
Matt Thomas will finally get to step foot on an NBA hardcourt. It took playing two seasons abroad for the former Cyclone to build the necessary clout with NBA scouts to receive a call, but the time has finally come for Thomas to test his game out against the best players in the world. — For the Toronto Raptors.
Thomas comes to Toronto on a three-year deal worth ~$4.2 million (~$2.4 million guaranteed). His cap hit for the 2019-20 is $898,310.
Extrapolating what type of role Thomas will fill next season is a difficult exercise this far out from training camp. The soon-to-be 25-year-old is a deadeye three-point shooter as well as a skilled ball handler and underrated passer.
He can also operate away from the ball and effectively uses screens to free himself up for catch-and-shoot opportunities. That being said, it could be tough to find minutes for him in a backcourt that already includes the likes of Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, Patrick McCaw, Cameron Payne, and Terence Davis. ‘Tis a crowded backcourt.
Thomas will be given a fair chance in training camp to show why he is the best candidate to replace Danny Green as Toronto’s starting two-guard (*SPOILER – if you’re betting on who it will be, Thomas is a BIG underdog choice).
But with the Raptors electing to sign multiple elite athletes with questionable jumpshots — Stanley Johnson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, re-signing McCaw — it’s very possible Toronto will need Thomas’ skillset next season.
The fact is, Matt Thomas remains a low-risk, high-reward signing for Toronto who could turn out to be a critical cog in their post-Kawhi wheel. It may not be next season that we get to see his full game on display, but Thomas’ ascension up Toronto’s backcourt depth chart could very easily resemble that of Fred VanVleet’s. Time remains on Thomas’ side.
Now, let’s dive into Matt Thomas’ 2018-19 campaign, shall we?