3. Balancing youth and veteran experience.
The Raptors are looking at deploying a bench with a considerable lack of NBA experience this season. Between Barnes, Flynn, and Achiuwa, Toronto is looking at a combined 108 regular-season games (111 including playoffs).
This kind of inexperience can lead to a failed offensive set or a missed defensive assignment. Pitfalls like sophomore slumps or rookie walls will be an issue too, and it’s going to be up to Boucher and Goran Dragic to help them avoid them as much as possible.
Boucher, while not a 10-year vet, at least holds multiple seasons under his belt, and once he returns from his finger injury, he can bring some stability as a leader and shot maker. However, he’s not going to be the most important leader for this bench, especially on the offensive end.
Goran Dragic must lead a young Toronto Raptors team.
Dragic is incredibly adept in the classic floor general role, and it’ll be a much-needed role in the Raptors putting up bench points.
As Achiuwa showed, he has the ability to hit the mid-range jumper, pull off a solid pick for an open look, and cut to the rim for a heavy dunk. Dragic has the type of floor presence and vision to use that option to create points and passing lanes.
If Dragic can turn some of their young bigs into the type of offensive studs that they have the potential to be, it will not only create open dunks, jumpers, and layups in the middle, but also will force defenses to crash, opening cutting lanes for Barnes off the wing.
Ultimately, Dragic needs to open the court for Achiuwa, Barnes, and everyone else. If he can do that, the Toronto Raptors may be able to create a viable offense that can give the starters a breather without losing a lead.