The Toronto Raptors have a new backup point guard for the 2021-22 season, as their sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat that sent Kyle Lowry to South Beach brought Goran Dragic back to Toronto by way of his $19 million player option.
Dragic didn’t exactly endear himself to the fanbase when he arrived in Toronto, as he is still trying to put the genie back in the bottle after his quote about having “higher ambitions” than playing in Toronto. Despite his comments, the Raptors have every indication that he will start the season with them.
If he starts to gel with Nick Nurse’s system, he could end up as one of the better reserve players in the game today, as he is still an effective scorer despite having just turned 35 years old. The sportsbooks in Las Vegas seem to think that Dragic is primed to make a run at some hardware this season.
The oddsmakers over at WynnBet have Dragic positioned with the fifth-best odds to win Sixth Man of the Year at +1700 (bet $100 to win $1,700). Dragic is tied with players like Derrick Rose and Tyrese Haliburton, showing that Vegas is very bullish on his potential this season, be it in Toronto or Dallas.
Will Toronto Raptors guard Goran Dragic win Sixth Man of the Year?
2020-21 winner Jordan Clarkson is the favorite to take home the award at +500, with teammate Joe Ingles right behind him in fourth place at +1200. Second place is a tie between Nets point guard Patty Mills and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter at +1100.
Dragic, who will likely start the season as a backup behind Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. this year, averaged 13.4 points and 4.4 assists per game on 43% shooting with Miami last year. While he, Malachi Flynn, and Scottie Barnes may compete for ball-handling touches with the second unit this season, Dragic might be the best scorer out of that trio.
Still capable of twisting to the rim for some acrobatic layups and rising up from 3-point range, it’s easy to see why Dragic has remained as consistently solid on the offensive end for as long as he has. It remains to be seen how long he’ll be in Toronto or how many shots he’ll get, but he should be well over double digits in scoring per game once again.
While the oddsmakers might have Dragic this high because they are banking on a midseason move to a team like the Mavericks, they know that Dragic is set up for success in a Nurse offense. If Toronto sneaks into the postseason, and they somehow don’t trade Dragic, he may get a vote or two.