Toronto Raptors: How Stanley Johnson can earn minutes

Toronto Raptors - Stanley Johnson (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Stanley Johnson (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Stanley Johnson (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are currently without a number of key players. This presents an opportunity for Stanley Johnson, but how can he earn the minutes?

The Toronto Raptors have been riddled with injuries throughout the entire season. They are currently without Matt Thomas, Norman Powell, Marc Gasol, and Pascal Siakam and are desperately searching for bodies to add to the rotation. Someone who could fill the void is Stanley Johnson.

Stanley Johnson was the first new addition for Toronto during the free agency period and he has yet to break his way into the rotation. In fairness, Chris Boucher, Rondae Hollis Jefferson, and Terence Davis have fit perfectly into the bench role. On top of this, Stanley Johnson would likely have to beat out Patrick McCaw who has the experience and ability to be a primary ball-handler and Matt Thomas who currently shoots 54-percent from three-point range. It would be difficult for most rotation players with experience to crack this team’s rotation.

That aside, Stanley has only been on the court for 27 minutes total in the eight games that he’s played. In those games, there were times where he would show flashes on defense, but his offensive game was non-existent. He has only shot over 40-percent from the field once in the season seasons that he’s completed. With all this being said, it is a small sample size, I’m a believer of second chances.

He has technically been the second-best defender on the team statistically per 100 possessions. Also, remember when he scored 86 points in a game at OVO bounce? I know it wasn’t a professional basketball league, but 86 points!

My point being, it’s hard to put much into a player who is 5 seasons into his career and still banking solely off potential. However, what he does well still fits the team as currently constructed and he still has time to surprise a few people and find a role in this rotation. Here are two ways that this is possible.