3 roles the Toronto Raptors need to fill at the trade deadline

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 23: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 23: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors, Dalano Banton
TORONTO, ON – DECEMBER 5: Dalano Banton #45 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

There are three pressing needs the Toronto Raptors will need to address at the trade deadline should this season’s edition of the team wish to make a playoff appearance. Raptors’management has its work cut out for them.

The latest reports suggest that Toronto will be buyers at this year’s trade deadline. Head coach Nick Nurse has made it imperative that management will need to make moves, as his recent rotation has barely accommodated eight players. It’s meant heavy minutes for Fred VanVleet, Scottie Barnes, and Pascal Siakam.

The Raptors bench produces the least amount of points in the NBA per game, the team is also an NBA-worst at defensive rebounding. Their field goal percentage of 43.7% is fourth-worst as well. Not everything is perfect around Toronto right now.

With $19 million tied up in a veteran asset that hasn’t played in months in Goran Dragic, a fix or two could be arranged. Masai Ujiri and the front office should try to plug these three holes when the deadline comes around.

The Toronto Raptors need to address these 3 major issues.

3. A backup point guard

The backup point guard position has been a sore spot for the Raptors all season long. With Nurse relying on eight key players, the Raptors rotation has so been tight that second-round pick Dalano Banton and 2020 first-rounder Malachi Flynn have largely been frozen out of the lineup.

Flynn is a bigger issue than Banton. He’s been unable to progress on his development from last season, and the sophomore is averaging 8.6 minutes and 2.8 points per game. Flynn isn’t the only backup guard frozen out of Nurse’s rotation though.

Although the Canadian Banton has been a burst of energy coming off the bench, he too has been held out of the lineup. Banton, who has played 11.7 minutes per game to date, has only seen court time in three of the last 10 games.

The Toronto Raptors need more backcourt depth.

There is also the Dragic situation that has been left unresolved, and it means that VanVleet is playing heavy minutes at the point (38.2 per game). This is simply not sustainable for a team that wants to sneak into the back end of the postseason.

A second-unit leader could solve some of the problems with the Raptors’ bench productivity and consistency. If this .500 team is to make a true push for a secure playoff spot, VanVleet and the starters need reliable help soon.