Toronto Raptors: Can Sam Dekker jump-start his career in Canada?

STRASBOURG, FRANCE - APRIL 7: Sam Dekker (7) of Turk Telekom (Photo by Elyxandro Cegarra/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
STRASBOURG, FRANCE - APRIL 7: Sam Dekker (7) of Turk Telekom (Photo by Elyxandro Cegarra/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

Few expected the Toronto Raptors to go into free agency with names like Sam Dekker on their mind. After all, considering that Kyle Lowry’s departure seemed imminent and Gary Trent Jr. was also on the market, they needed to make sure their big names were taken care of.

With Lowry ready to join the Heat and Trent back in Toronto on a three-year contract, the Raptors can turn their attention to some more depth signings. While he hasn’t had the most productive NBA career to this point, the Raptors identified Dekker as their next quality bench piece.

Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that after two years outside of the NBA in Europe, Dekker is coming back to North America and signing a deal with the Raptors. Dekker hopes to have shown that he had fixed the issues that made it tough for him to be an impact player in the NBA during his first stint.

Did the Raptors stumble upon a quality bench piece that could provide some scoring from the second unit? Or will Dekker’s attempt to make one last go of it in the NBA ultimately fizzle out?

Can Sam Dekker contribute with the Toronto Raptors?

Dekker was taken with the 18th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets after a solid college career at Wisconsin. After two uninspiring seasons in Texas, he was dealt to the Clippers in the Chris Paul trade. Dekker had brief cups of coffee with Cleveland and Washington before going overseas.

Dekker wasn’t a tremendous defender, and his scoring production never matched what he showed off at the collegiate level. However, his production in Europe might’ve convinced NBA scouts to take a look at him.

Dekker, who spent the last two seasons with Russia’s Lokomotiv Kuban and Turkey’s Turk Telekom, put up some impressive efficiency numbers.

In Turkish Super League play last year, Dekker averaged 15.4 points per game while making 54% of his shots and 45% of his 3-point attempts. Considering he averaged just 5.5 points and made 29% of his 3-pointers in the NBA, this shows some rapid improvement.

Dekker has been looking like the scorer Houston hoped he would be, but those numbers could be inflated due to the fact he was playing against inferior competition.

Still, with Masai Ujiri destined to make every player on this Raptors roster a 6-8 power forward that can guard multiple positions and make 3-pointers at an above-average rate, Dekker fits in well with what they want to do. If he fails to crack Toronto’s rotation, he might need to head back to Europe to continue his professional career.

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