2. Assists per game.
The Raptors must replace the 7.3 assists per game lost by the departure of Lowry in the sign and trade with Miami. Players like Goran Dragic and Fred VanVleet (who averaged 6.3 last season) will need to pick up the slack.
Malachi Flynn a sophomore point guard is very comfortable creating his own offense out of the pick and roll but needs to improve in setting up his teammates. During the 2021 season, the Raptors were 20th in the NBA averaging 24.1 assists per game.
In the first preseason game vs. Philadelphia, Toronto had 33 assists on 98 shot attempts (34%). The Raptors won that contest 123-107. In that game, Toronto got assists from 10 different players, led by VanVleet with eight and Barnes with six. Toronto’s mix of ball handlers and decision-makers must move the ball with an eye for the best available shots.
Scottie Barnes could help the Toronto Raptors in this area.
Barnes is expected to play a big role in this as an unconventional playmaker at 6-9 and a do-everything-type wing player. Many consider VanVleet more effective playing off the ball, which would mean other players like Barnes may play bigger roles in playmaking while VanVleet provides the team with scoring.
The Raptors’ rookie may turn heads as he racked up 28 assists with only nine turnovers during the preseason contests. The Raptors could be exciting to watch with the smart steady playmakers they can rely upon this season.