Could one of the Toronto Raptors replacements stick around?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 01: Brandon Goodwin #0 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 01: Brandon Goodwin #0 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors saw their rotation get ravaged by COVID-19 over the last few days. In addition to star forward Pascal Siakam, sensational sharpshooter Gary Trent Jr. and Dalano Banton entered the health and safety protocols on Monday. Fred VanVleet and Malachi Flynn were lost on Tuesday in addition to Scottie Barnes and Precious Achiuwa.

To add depth in the wake of these injuries, the Raptors signed Brandon Goodwin, Juwan Morgan, Tremont Waters, DJ Wilson and Nik Stauskas.

Morgan is a muscular low-post big that has made impressive strides as a shooter. Goodwin might be undersized at the point guard spot, but he can create offense for himself and others. Stauskas is a well-traveled veteran that makes his living from beyond the 3-point line.

Waters will be able to make plays on both ends as a point guard, while Wilson is a talented rim-runner with potential.

Given the short-term nature of some of these contracts, it might be difficult for any one of these players to stick around when everyone is available. However, with Toronto leaning on 14 players before this recent wave of deactivations, they might be inclined to hang on to one of them.

Morgan, Goodwin, Waters, Wilson, and Stauskas might get a very limited number of chances to prove themselves, but if they end up making the most of them, one of them could potentially earn a spot on the Raptors’ bench for the remainder of the season.

Will any of these 5 replacement players stay with the Toronto Raptors?

Morgan probably faces the longest odds of the five. In addition to the fact that Khem Birch returning to the frontcourt brings them closer to full health, the emergence of Justin Champagnie puts him way down on the depth chart. He might be friends with OG Anunoby dating back to his days at Indiana, but that may not save him.

Goodwin makes a ton of sense for the Raptors even without all of the recent absences. A speedy young guard with solid court vision, Goodwin might have a lower offensive floor than Banton. One question he will need to answer relates to his efficiency, as he is still shooting under 40% from the field in the NBA.

Like Goodwin, Waters is an undersized point guard that will likely never evolve into an amazingly efficient offensive player. However, given his past NBA experience, skill at causing turnovers on defense, and slightly above-average 3-point shot, Waters does enough on both ends to warrant consideration for an NBA spot.

Wilson might be pushed down the depth chart like Morgan when Achiuwa and Siakam return, but given his pedigree as a former first-round pick and experience within the league, the idea of him latching on to the back end of the roster with a second 10-day contract is not farfetched.

Stauskas might have the best shot of the five when it comes to sticking around. Not only does he have the most NBA experience, but the Mississauga-born guard can be a weapon from 3-point range, which is something that Toronto hasn’t always had on their bench.

Stauskas is fresh off dominating the G League in consecutive seasons, averaging 18.1 points for Raptors 905 last year and 21.3 per game for the Grand Rapids Gold this year. He’s ready for one last crack at the NBA, and Toronto could use him as a Svi Mykhailiuk backup.

It will take some very impressive performances and some luck for any of these five to stick around, with Stauskas potentially having the easiest road to doing so. With one or two fortunate breaks, Toronto could add a new bench contributor to their ranks.

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