The Toronto Raptors are on the verge of finally setting their 15-man roster after finishing up their postseason grind against the Washington Wizards. After waiving Freddie Gillespie and Reggie Perry, Nick Nurse must select two of either Isaac Bonga, Ishmail Wainright, or Sam Dekker to secure the final roster spots.
All three of these players bring something different to the table. Bonga is a long perimeter defender who can handle the ball, Dekker is a former first-round pick with a much-improved jump shot, and Wainright is a former tight end that pairs his muscular frame with some quality perimeter shooting.
Considering the plethora of injuries Toronto had last year, and when factoring in how those injuries helped Yuta Watanabe emerge as a quality NBA player, this is not a decision that needs to be taken lightly. This could have a real impact on the outcome of some games later in the season.
All three of these players look like they belong in the NBA, making the decision even harder for Nurse and the front office. These 3 Toronto Raptors all have a case to be made for their inclusion on the roster, it just depends on which ones the front office will hear and accept.
Why each Toronto Raptors non-guaranteed player should make the roster.
SF Isaac Bonga
Isaac Bonga started during the final preseason game, which is perhaps an indication that Nurse is leaning towards keeping him. Bonga earned some praise for his performance in a game against the Rockets, as the perimeter defense that has carried him in his career has once again come through for him.
Bonga was drafted as a point guard, but even despite his lanky sub-200 pound frame, he’s become a solid wing defender in this league, and a Raptors team that has placed more of a premium on length than any other squad in the league during the offseason might just be intrigued enough to roll the dice on the German national team player.
Isaac Bonga gives the Toronto Raptors perimeter defense and experience.
It’s very rare to say that the 22-year-old is the most experienced member of this group, but between his Lakers and Wizards stints, Bonga has a decent chunk of experience in the NBA. Will Nurse factor that into the equation when he’s considering which players are going to stick around?
The drawback is that Bonga is the worst offensive player of the remaining three. not only was he a net negative on the offensive end in Washington, but he almost looked nervous and skittish. While Nurse should get him to improve his jumper somewhat, Bonga making this team will almost be entirely reliant on his defensive abilities.