1. Shabazz Napier
Kyle Lowry remains one of the game’s best point guards, but the Raptors have done an unusually poor job at finding a second-unit point guard after moving VanVleet to shooting guard in the starting rotation. They used a first-rounder on Malachi Flynn to potentially fill that role, but he has barely seen any playing time. With Nurse likely being conservative with his first-round pick and not wishing to overwhelm him, he needs to look to the free agent market if he wants to find a solid deputy for Lowry. Luckily, the perfect player for that role exists in Napier, who hasn’t signed a contract for 2020-21 despite an impressive stint with Washington last year.
Napier, a former UConn star who has bounced around between Miami, Brooklyn, Portland, and Minnesota before becoming a Wizard, averaged 10.3 points per game last season, a career-high, on 41 percent shooting while also dishing out 4.7 assists per game. Having been a backup for most of his career, Napier is more than comfortable with coming off of the bench, using his speed and keen court vision to generate offense for his teammates, and hitting a big three when his team needs it.
Napier almost makes too much sense for Nurse and the Raptors, as every game they go without signing a point guard presents an opportunity for Toronto’s season to go completely by the wayside due to their lack of depth. Nurse clearly has a fetish for developing undersized point guards and Napier’s skillset could blossom with a full season under his belt as a Raptor.