Toronto Raptors: Will Matt Thomas or Patrick McCaw earn final rotation spot?

Toronto Raptors - Patrick McCaw (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Patrick McCaw (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Patrick McCaw (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have an interesting logjam at shooting guard. In the battle between Patrick McCaw and Matt Thomas, who should receive more minutes?

When Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green left this offseason, the Toronto Raptors rotation was blown to pieces. Over 61 minutes per game went out the door, as Masai Ujiri and company scrambled to fill the roster with various late offseason additions.

With Green out of the picture, Toronto should have a gaping void at shooting guard. But as a great college football analyst would say, “Not so fast my friends.” Despite the departure of Danny Green (if he ever actually does leave Canada), the Raptors still have a full cupboard of guards to play alongside Kyle Lowry.

Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet should both see an uptick in minutes. After giving Powell 24-28 minutes as the starter and VanVleet 14ish minutes alongside Kyle Lowry, the Raptors only have about 10 minutes to fill with a third option.

10 minutes is only enough for one additional spot in the rotation. You need to allow players to find a rhythm, get comfortable, and settle into the flow of the game. You can’t do that in anything less than just about 10 minutes.

Nick Nurse will likely fluctuate between Patrick McCaw and Matt Thomas at the start of the season based on game flow and opponent. Rotations aren’t set in stone, and the best coaches in the NBA are often the most fluid.

However, yanking a player in and out of the rotation can damage their psyche. You don’t want a player looking over their shoulder after every mistake. Just look at what happened to Norman Powell two seasons ago.

So ultimately Nick Nurse will need to decide. The Raptors have a healthy logjam at shooting guard, and there are only so minutes to go around. At times, making no decision can be worse than making the wrong one.

So if Toronto must choose, who should be the third member of their shooting guard rotation? The athletic, rangy Patrick McCaw? Or the sweet sharpshooting Matt Thomas?