1. Svi Mykhailiuk
Hands up if you thought one of Toronto’s preseason standouts would be the Ukrainian swingman, who flew under the radar when he agreed to a two-year deal with the Raptors several weeks ago. If you’ve got your hand in the air, you’re either not being honest, or your last name is Ujiri.
Mykhailiuk has been a sparkplug off the bench in all three games, playing a total of 65 minutes. The former Pistons and Thunder player is tied with Achiuwa for fourth on the Raptors in points per game (12.0) while remaining notably consistent game-to-game, chipping in 13, 11, and 12 points, respectively.
He’s scored in a variety of ways, both inside the arc and from long distance, while showing off an intriguing bag of dribble moves and shot-creation skills. Mykhailiuk ranks among Toronto’s most accurate shooters across the board, going 13-25 from the field, 5-11 on three-pointers, and 5-6 at the line.
Svi Mykhailiuk is creating offense for the Toronto Raptors.
Mykhailiuk has also chipped in 10 rebounds and seven assists. In Philly, he showed great chemistry with rookie Scottie Barnes, as the duo combined to score 11 points for the Raptors over a 2:20 span early in the second quarter, with each assisting on two made field goals by the other.
Defense has never been Mykhailiuk’s strong suit, and he hasn’t made a mark on that end of the floor this preseason, but his ability to provide instant offense in a variety of ways could make him a key member of the Raptors rotation in 2021-22.
The 24-year-old has a fan in Nurse, who praised Mykhailiuk for being not just a shooter but also a playmaker following the loss to the Sixers.
It’s not hard to imagine Toronto falling in love with Mykhailiuk, and Raptors fans will get just their second opportunity to see him with the home team when the Raps host the Houston Rockets in their second-to-last preseason tune-up on Monday night at Scotiabank Arena.