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) /
3 of 3
Toronto Raptors
Matt Thomas (Photo by Rodolfo Molina/EB via Getty Images) /

Matt Thomas

Toronto spent their entire offseason loading up on defensive wings who can’t shoot. Thomas is the yin to their yang. With a roster which isn’t quite as three-point friendly as it once was, the Raptors need someone on the perimeter who can absolutely strap-it. Enter Matt Thomas.

During his two years in Europe, Thomas shot 47.2-percent from 3 on an absurd 7.6 attempts per 36 minutes. Nobody who played at least 100 minutes accomplished that feat in the NBA last season.  — Clearly, doing it in the NBA is harder than in Europe, particularly with a closer 3-point line. Still, it’s an impressive accomplishment nonetheless.

Thomas’ numbers as a stop up shooter were even nastier.

Stanley Johnson can’t shoot. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson can’t shoot. Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby can need to be guarded behind the line but are average shooters at best. If Toronto wants to help these players reach their full potential, someone needs to be on the court to space the floor. Thomas does that better than anyone, particularly Patrick McCaw.

McCaw’s inability to shoot doesn’t just impact his points and his shot attempts, it sucks the life out of the entire offense. Last season, the Raptors posted an offensive rating 9.5 points better per 100 possession when McCaw was off the floor (according to cleaningtheglass).

Overall, the Raptors were outscored by 4.3 points per 100 possession with McCaw on the court. When he was off the floor, they beat opponents by 9.4.

Yes, Thomas is a bit of a defensive liability; yes he doesn’t have NBA experience. However, he provides a skillset Toronto desperately needs. Hollis-Jefferson, Anunoby, and Johnson can cover for him on the defensive end. The Raptors need somebody who can space the floor. Matt Thomas is that player.

Next. Did Sports Illustrated rank Raptors in top 100 correctly?. dark

Nick Nurse has a difficult decision in front of him, and who the Toronto  Raptors end up choosing may come down to his philosophy about basketball. Of course, training camp and preseason performance will also factor into the equation, as this will be one of the most highly contested battles at camp.

McCaw and Thomas both bring interesting skillsets to the table, but in the end, the Toronto Raptors will have to make a tough decision. McCaw vs Thomas, whose side are you taking?