Should the Raptors play Armoni Brooks over Dalano Banton?

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 27: Armoni Brooks #7 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 27: Armoni Brooks #7 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors took a big step in acknowledging how poor of a team they are from 3-point range when Fred VanVleet is out, as they gave Armoni Brooks a 10-day contract to beef themselves up in that area. With VanVleet and Malachi Flynn hurt, Brooks and Dalano Banton will make up the backcourt rotation.

Brooks, who was recently waived by the Houston Rockets, derives almost all of his value from his shooting. He averaged 11.2 points per game on 38% shooting from deep in 2020-21 while chucking up almost eight shots per game. If nothing else, Brooks is a loose cannon from deep.

With VanVleet likely to not be 100% as he works his way back and Flynn’s own injury woes, Banton will be in the spotlight once again. While he brings tons of interesting facets to the table as a defender and high-energy bench presence, his lack of dynamic offensive talent is starting to show up.

While Brooks might be on a 10-day deal, Toronto wouldn’t have ditched DJ Wilson for him if they didn’t think he could help the team in some capacity on the floor. Could that lead to Brooks getting some time over Banton due to the lack of offensive juice the team has shown?

Should Toronto Raptors guard Armoni Brooks play over Dalano Banton?

The Raptors have only made more than 32% of their 3-point shots once in their last seven games. Even though Brooks was not as effective this year as he was during his initial breakout with Houston, he’s proven himself as a sniper at both the collegiate and professional levels. At 6-3 with good athleticism, there’s a ton to like about him.

Banton looks confident with Raptors 905, but his scoring skills evaporate when he comes to the NBA. Banton is averaging just 2.6 points per game on 38/14/44 shooting splits over the last two months. He has just one game with more than five points in that span.

With Banton clanking shots left and right in addition to Svi Mykhailiuk failing to take the step forward Toronto expected as a shooter, Brooks might be worthy of some extra playing time until Anunoby gets back into the lineup.

Banton doesn’t need to be thrown to the wolves, but Nick Nurse can’t bemoan the lack of shooting on this team if he chooses to give non-factors like Banton and Khem Birch extended minutes.

It’s too late in the season for the Raptors to completely overhaul their style of play and get a whole new array of shooters. The least Nurse can do is to make minor tweaks to paper over the cracks until Anunoby and VanVleet are 100% healthy. Putting Brooks in the rotation could help fix that.

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