Malachi Flynn may be Raptors’ most important second-half player

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 25: Malachi Flynn #22 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 25: Malachi Flynn #22 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have had a backup point guard problem all season long, as the Goran Dragic situation put an undue burden of minutes on Fred VanVleet. For the time being, Malachi Flynn appears to have taken on the role of VanVleet’s deputy off of the bench.

The San Diego State product has already jumped over Dalano Banton on the depth chart, despite the fact that No. 45’s physical traits mesh with what Nick Nurse and Masai Ujiri want from this roster. While his offensive game appeared to be farther ahead than what we saw at Nebraska, he has slowed down lately.

Banton in the last 14 games prior to the All-Star break, he averaged just 3.5 points per game. From January 29 to February 9, Banton amassed just six points total and never made multiple baskets in a single game. The offense is still very much a work in progress, and that left Flynn open to seize his minutes.

There might be no more important player with regards to the state of the Toronto rotation than Flynn during the second half of the season. If he can become more consistent on the offensive end, the Raptors should feel much more confident about their chances.

Malachi Flynn will be very important for the Toronto Raptors.

While the decision to put Flynn in over Banton was likely due to the fact that Nick Nurse needed a better shooter with Fred VanVleet nursing a knee injury, Flynn has been in complete control when he’s on the floor. He’s making key passes, finishing at the rim, and pulling up from deep.

On a team that already lacks a consistently lethal half-court offense, Flynn can’t eat up heavy minutes and refuse to be an aggressive offensive option. Flynn figures to play a role next year, and the only way to develop him into a player that may one day assume a starting role full-time is to make an impact in his reserve role.

Flynn is not losing his spot in the rotation anytime soon unless he shows complete stagnation. Given the fact that he was a first-round pick, Toronto is going to make sure he gets every opportunity to succeed for this team.

While giving Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam minutes at point guard appears to have officially wriggled its’ way into being a thing for this team, they need Malachi to produce when VanVleet is on the bench and Nurse wants a more traditional look. Failing to improve could have some concerning consequences.

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