Toronto Raptors: Best and Worst case scenarios for the guards

TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 16: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 16: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors, Svi Mykhailiuk
Toronto Raptors guard Svi Mykhailiuk (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports) /

Svi Mykhailiuk

We don’t yet know what the Raptors’ rotation will look like come opening night, but it’s probably safe to say that shooting could be an area of need among the second unit.

That’s (hopefully) where Mykhailiuk comes in. The 24-year-old is already on his fourth NBA team in as many seasons, but offered a small taste of the offensive boost he can provide in Oklahoma City last season, averaging 10.3 points on 43.8% shooting in just 23 minutes with the Thunder.

Best Case Scenario

It’s hardly been a settled, predictable three years in the NBA for the Ukrainian wing. Of those three, two have seen mid-season trades disrupt Mykhailiuk’s routine.

His one stable season – 2019-20 with Detroit – produced a career-best in points per game (9.0) and three-point shooting (40.4%), suggesting that a full year in Toronto could be a boon to the player and team.

And the first impressions have all been positive. Mykhailiuk went into Tuesday’s preseason finale a surprise fifth on the team in scoring this preseason, averaging 11.5 points while shooting 48% from the floor and 44% from three.

The club growing enamored with the 6-7 swingman probably isn’t great news for Trent, but having multiple wings that can shoot the ball is never a bad thing. There’s room for both of them in the club’s plans.

Will the Toronto Raptors lean on Svi Mykhailiuk?

Worst Case Scenario

Part of Mykhailiuk’s nomadic NBA existence to date stems from a struggle to achieve consistency, particularly with his shot. Inconsistent opportunities surely haven’t helped, but it isn’t like he’ll have an exceptionally long rope in Toronto.

Furthermore, bench units that Mykhailiuk checks in with might only feature one or two other shooting threats. This lack of floor stretching leaves the former Laker and Piston getting considerable defensive focus on the perimeter, likely force-feeding him a steady diet of contested and/or rushed shots.

Mykhailiuk reportedly chose the Raptors over the Lakers and Blazers, so it’s probably safe to say that having to uproot mid-season once again would be something close to a worst-case scenario here.

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