The Toronto Raptors knew that they were going into the season without a ton of shooting or experience on the bench, which prompted the signing of Ukrainian veteran Svi Mykhailiuk. After bouncing around the league as a second-round pick, a strong finish to the 2020-21 season prompted Masai Ujiri to bring him into the fold.
While his high scoring numbers may have been inflated by playing on two bad teams in Detroit and Oklahoma City, the 6-8 forward looked like the perfect veteran role player that could nail some 3-pointers and play passable defense on the perimeter. To say the least, that hasn’t happened.
Mykhailiuk is averaging just 6.8 points per game while making 33% of his 3-pointers. The latter number is far below what Mykhailiuk has done over the last two seasons. Raptors fans are assuredly sick of the unusual turnovers that come from Svi trying to make something out of nothing as a ball-handler.
The Raptors are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea in the case of Mykhailiuk. They are faced with two possible futures, neither of them particularly enticing.
They must either change the rotation to the point where the one historically above-average wing shooter gets no minutes or continue to put an underperforming player on the floor in crucial situations.
The Toronto Raptors need Svi Mykhailiuk to step up.
Mykhailiuk is amassing just 5.0 points per game in the month of December, making 35.5% of his shots overall. The Kansas alum is on the team almost exclusively as a shooter, and he is converting on just 28% of his attempts from deep.
Perhaps the only thing keeping Mykhailiuk in the rotation is a lack of competition. Yuta Watanabe is by no means a knockdown shooter just yet, and Malachi Flynn has not warranted extra minutes with his play. Dalano Banton has been fine, but he’s a poor 3-point marksman.
While Mykhailiuk has taken advantage of a team that lacks someone to challenge him, his play has been so poor lately that Nurse may consider a change. Hope you enjoyed Mykhailiuk’s insane block on Mitchell Robinson! If he keeps performing as he has been and Nurse changes the rotation, he might not get many more of these.
Mykhailiuk is going to be under the microscope all season long, as his 3-point shot has mysteriously evaporated on him. Toronto is still in the postseason hunt despite their bench, but they won’t stay there for much longer if Mykhailiuk keeps playing like this.