Raptors: Malachi Flynn needs to be unleashed after sluggish start

Toronto Raptors - Malachi Flynn (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Malachi Flynn (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

The Raptors need to put Malachi Flynn in the rotation if they want to add some juice to the stagnant offense.

Based on the extremely early returns, the Toronto Raptors are sorely missing the services of Nate Bjorkgren, who left Toronto in order to become the head coach of the Indiana Pacers.

Without Bjorkgren on the bench and players like Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka in the frontcourt, Nick Nurse’s squad has stumbled out of the gate, losing their first three games while ranking 29th in the NBA in points scored and dead last in offensive rating at 96.9 despite playing with the fourth-highest pace in the league.

While the Raptors have struggled to get much of anything going on the offensive end, first-round pick Malachi Flynn, who could end up being the heir apparent to Kyle Lowry at the point guard spot, has seen a grand total of one minute of playing time. Considering how well he played in the preseason, Nurse’s reluctance to go to him seems a bit unusual.

Malachi Flynn proved how deadly he can be on the offensive end during his college career.

After starting his college career at Washington State, Flynn transferred to San Diego State, and his draft stock exploded after an unbelievable season as an Aztec. Flynn, who was picked 29th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft. was named Mountain West Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, all the while scoring 17.6 points per game on 44 percent from the field.

The Raptors have Lowry, who has been excellent once again, in addition to Fred VanVleet on the wing, but the lack of depth behind them without Flynn is pitiful. With Terence Davis also not getting much playing time, Nurse has been trying to fit a square peg into a round hole by letting Norman Powell, Matt Thomas, and even Stanley Johnson handle the ball when Lowry is on the bench.

Flynn has the ability to play quality perimeter defense, conduct a high-octane offense that lives and dies by ball movement, and nail a few threes every now and again. Nurse’s miserly attitude regarding his playing time, especially in a losing streak, boggles the mind.

While there is something to be said for Nurse trying to gradually get Flynn acclimated to the NBA, as opposed to throwing him in the deep end of the basketball pool following a comically short offseason, the Raptors have no electricity on the offensive end right now. Flynn draining a few threes or slithering to the basket, all the while playing the same excellent defense that propelled the slender 6-1 guard into the first round, might be enough to get the Raptors out of this funk and establish a better point guard rotation.