Precious Achiuwa shows how Raptors will miss Goran Dragic

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 23: Goran Dragic #1 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 23: Goran Dragic #1 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors may not be utilizing the services of Goran Dragic frequently this season, but news of his personal leave still shook the squad. Young players like Scottie Barnes and Precious Achiuwa may feel the sting of his absence harder than some veterans.

Dragic, who was acquired in the Kyle Lowry swap with the Miami Heat, has played in just five games this season amid a constant barrage of trade and buyout rumors. While he could’ve returned to the rotation due to injuries around the Toronto roster, Dragic has briefly stepped away from basketball.

Dragic has left the team to attend to a private matter. While he has the full support of the team as he tries to overcome whatever may be troubling him off the court, some of Toronto’s younger players are losing him for the foreseeable future.

Achiuwa said that fans may not see what a calming presence and wise teacher Dragic can be behind the scenes. He has made an impact on Achiuwa, Barnes, and the rest of Toronto’s young standouts. Even if he’s not scoring 20 points a game, Dragic is helping this team win games.

Precious Achiuwa proved Goran Dragic has value for the Toronto Raptors.

Dragic turned 35 in May, making him the only member of a very young Raptors team older than 30. Barnes, Achiuwa, OG Anunoby, and Gary Trent Jr. are all 24 years old or younger. Someone with Dragic’s pedigree in this league could be an invaluable voice in their ear throughout such a long season.

While Dragic found playing time hard to come by for large chunks of the season, the fact Toronto has the worst bench in the league in terms of points per game could’ve opened up another window to sneak back into the rotation. Fans expecting Dragic to quickly rejoin the squad may be left severely disappointed, however.

TSN’s Josh Lewenberg postulated that this may not be a short-term issue, claiming that Dragic will likely be moved ahead of the February 10 trade deadline. There is a very good chance that Dragic’s Raptors tenure will last all of five games.

This team needs some guidance right now, as they have lost nine of their last 12 games. Unfortunately, Dragic’s soothing presence will not be able to calm this young squad down. We wish Dragic nothing but the best as he tries to sort out whatever the issue may be in his personal life.

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