Toronto Raptors: considering Malachi Flynn

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 07: Malachi Flynn (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 07: Malachi Flynn (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have an aging Kyle Lowry and uncertainty with free agency looming with Fred VanVleet at the point guard spot. Malachi Flynn of San Diego State University could be the team’s future at the point guard position.

The Toronto Raptors possess two of the best point guards in the NBA today. Kyle Lowry is 33-years-old but proved in 2019/20 that he is aging like a fine wine when he averaged 19.4 points and dished out 7.5 assists per game. However, over the last four seasons, he has missed 55 regular-season games playing in only 58 this past COVID-19 shortened campaign.

Fred VanVleet has risen to great heights in the Toronto Raptors’ winning culture, contributing immensely to the 2019 playoff run that resulted in the Toronto Raptors winning the title that year. He was rewarded with a starting role in 2019/20, averaging 17.6 points and 6.6 assists per game in 54 contests.

The problem that the management team of Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster face is Kyle Lowry has one year left on his contract at 30 million, and Fred VanVleet’s 9 million dollar salary is due to at least double or more in less than three weeks. It means the Raptors would be committing 50 million dollars or more to one position.

With the salary cap now decided and frozen at 109 million, Fred VanVleet, 25 years old, may not return to Toronto. This means in a year; the Toronto Raptors will be in desperate need of a point guard.

Drafting 29th at the 2020 NBA Draft, on November 18th, 2020,  The Toronto Raptors could select San Diego State University guard Malachi Flynn to address their future at the point guard position.

What Malachi Flynn could bring to the Toronto Raptors

There are certain skills that the Toronto Raptors value in the players they employ under head coach Nick Nurse. Hard work, defense, shooting, and basketball IQ are a few of the qualities the Raptors look for in players they choose to develop.

Malachi Flynn, who is 22 years old, would bring good shooting to the Toronto Raptors. He has shot the three-ball at a 36.3 percent rate in his collegiate career and was 37.3 percent in 2020 on long-range shots. Malachi Flynn also shot 50.7 percent on all his field goals in 2020 on 13 shot attempts per game.

He takes good shots and is great at using the pick and roll to create space for his own shot or find open teammates. His ball-handling is good, and he makes good decisions with the basketball. Malachi Flynn averaged 5.1 assists while committing only 1.8 turnovers per game. As a team, the Toronto Raptors were 17 overall in the NBA, turning the ball over 14.8 times a game in 2020.

Defensively, Flynn grabbed 4.5 rebounds per game despite his six-foot-one height and his 185-pound size. He has quick hands as he stole the ball an average 1.8 times each game in 2020. In a fashion similar to Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, Malachi Flynn does defend with intensity to make up for his lack of size.

If selected by the Raptors, Malachi Flynn would come to Toronto as a highly decorated prospect.

The Toronto Raptors were second in the NBA stealing the ball and 11th overall rebounding, so Malachi Flynn would only add more strength to the team in these areas.

Where Malachi Flynn needs improvement

The Toronto Raptors will need to work with Malachi Flynn to develop defensively if they select him at the 2020 Draft. He will struggle in the NBA to keep the quicker and faster guards in front of him as he isn’t the quickest player around. Further, he isn’t a versatile defender as the Toronto Raptors would like as he is only six-foot-one, meaning he will struggle with switching onto bigger wing players and guards.

He is also an average athlete. His leaping ability won’t wow you, and he is not the fastest player either while running. If the Toronto Raptors are willing to employ an offense dependant on the pick and roll, Malachi Flynn is the right person to run that offense. However, he will not excel in isolation plays or trying to beat his man off the dribble.

Why the Toronto Raptors should draft Malachi Flynn

Malachi Flynn makes sense for the Toronto Raptors to draft if they feel Fred VanVleet will be lost in free agency. Even if Fred VanVleet stays in Toronto, Malachi Flynn could serve as the future back up to VanVleet as Kyle Lowry may not be back in Toronto for 2021/22 as his contract is finished next summer.

Flynn possesses several key skills that the Toronto Raptors would appreciate, and they did have him do a pre-draft workout.

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The Toronto Raptors may also have a problem with Terence Davis’ legal troubles. Selecting a guard could become the priority for Bobby Webster and Masai Ujiri at the 2020 NBA Draft.