Usually, these types of articles are done with stars and not role players, but in this case for the Toronto Raptors, we will be looking at which role player from the past would best help the team now.
No, this isn’t what former Raptors star would best fit this team now, this is what former role player from the past would best help the team if they are inserted into this current roster in time for Orlando. So that player from their best season with the Toronto Raptors would be added on to this roster. Of course, this is all hypothetical.
Just for the purpose of this article, the ex-Raptors player cannot be a player who was on the roster in the past three years.
The Toronto Raptors have had many great role players in their 24 years of existence. Just to name a few: Charles Oakley, Jonas Valanciunas, Doug Christie, Anthony Parker… The list goes on and on. But we decided to choose a player that compliments what the current team strives for now. But before we get to that, let’s talk about what the current rotation would be.
The Toronto Raptors current rotation
The playoffs always guarantee a shorter rotation in lineups. Usually, it is an eight or nine-man rotation max. We already know these seven players are guaranteed to be a part of the rotation: Lowry, VanVleet, Powell, Siakam, Anunoby, Ibaka, and Gasol.
That is three guards, two centers, and two forwards.
While the players to take the eighth and ninth space are very much in the air, what former role player from the Toronto Raptors past helps the team the most in the playoffs today. We know Nick Nurse’s style is his ability to maximize everyone and be able to have every one of his players to shoot and defend.
So we can look at Doug Christie, Anthony Parker, and Patrick Patterson as serious candidates for the position.
Doug Christie is more of a shooting guard than he was a small forward, and choosing him might leave a hole in the 4 and 5 positions since the Raptors are currently limited there. The exact same thing would apply to Anthony Parker who is in the exact same boat as Doug Christie. Both players are perfect 3-and-D guys and perfect role players to have in the playoffs.
But since the Toronto Raptors need more diversity in the forward and center spot, and already have three guards, to begin with. The role-player that’d best fit with the current Raptors team is Patrick Patterson — who was ranked as the 17th best Raptors player ever on Raptors Rapture.
Patrick Patterson spent three and a half seasons coming off the bench with the Toronto Raptors. He is a perfect role player that can co-exist in Nick Nurse’s system. He was a great bench player who can defend and shoot the three. Maybe not the typical quick 3-and-D guy like Christie and Patterson were, but a good 3-and-D guy nonetheless.
With the Raptors already having three guards, and only two centers and two forwards. Having a power forward like Patrick Patterson, who can also turn into a stretch 5 in this day and age is a player any team would like to have.
In his time with Toronto Raptors, Patterson shot the three at a good rate of 37.31 percent clip. He can be plugged into any position from the three to five and be the exact type of guy Nick Nurse would want to operate with. He’d be the essential bench guy in this roster and he would give the Raptors more firepower in the 3-and-D department.
The exact department the Toronto Raptors have built their success on as one of the top teams in the NBA this year. With Patterson, they’ll continue to be as versatile on defense, the floor will continue to be spaced, which will lead to either open shots or an open lane to cut and drive. It’ll feel like the Raptors are just adding another poor man’s OG Anunoby.
Patterson is the perfect role player missing in this Raptors equation, and if the Raptors can get a 2014-2015 Patterson for the rest of the season, the Raptors bench will have the perfect recipe of threes, defense, and experience.