Grading all Raptors newcomers as postseason push heats up

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 01: Thaddeus Young #21 picks up Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 01: Thaddeus Young #21 picks up Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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Thad Young, Toronto Raptors
TORONTO, ON – MARCH 01: Thaddeus Young #21 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors are not afraid to shake things up with regards to the complexion of the roster. This team won a championship just a few short years ago, yet only four players from that squad remain on the team. The host of newcomers has done a solid job helping Toronto make a playoff push.

The Raptors have made it a priority to add tons of young players that bring length and versatility to the fold. Even with that directive shaping much of what Toronto wants to do on both sides of the ball, the Raptors haven’t been shy about adding glue-guy veterans as key reserves.

The Raptors have managed to make some very bold moves over the last few months to supplement a starting lineup that is carrying the load on offense. Adjusting to this scheme can be tough initially, but it looks like the veterans are starting to figure it out.

How are some of the new faces around this Toronto Raptors team performing? If Nick Nurse wants any hope of winning a playoff series this season, these three will need to take steps in the right direction.

Grading 3 Toronto Raptors newcomers in 2021-22.

In the name of setting some ground rules, this will include players acquired via trade or free agency. Rookies have their own list. Isaac Bonga and DJ Wilson haven’t played enough to warrant a grade.

Thad Young

Young was acquired from the Spurs in exchange for Goran Dragic with the expectation that he’d be a reliable experienced presence on the Raptors bench. After a slow start, Young has become a valued member of the reserve unit thanks to a skillset that is perfect for Toronto’s schematic identity.

On the negative side of things, Young’s field goal percentage and assists rate has gone down. However, Young’s been a much better 3-point shooter than he was in San Antonio. When paired with solid rebounding and defense, there’s been a lot to like about what Young has done in Toronto.

Thad Young has had nice moments with the Toronto Raptors.

Anyone expecting Young to be a consistent double-digit scorer may have been just a bit too optimistic. Even with him often coming into games as the seventh or eighth scoring option, Young is getting his daily dosage of points while making the bench even tighter defensively.

While he is a free agent at the end of this year, Young is playing well enough and providing enough veteran mettle to earn himself a contract for next year. If he starts getting his field goal percentage back above 50%, Young could emerge as the team’s Sixth Man.

Grade: B