3 Toronto Raptors who have earned spots on 2022-23 squad

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 01: Head coach Nick Nurse speaks with Chris Boucher #25 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 01: Head coach Nick Nurse speaks with Chris Boucher #25 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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Malachi Flynn, Toronto Raptors
TORONTO, ON – MARCH 01: Malachi Flynn #22 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

No matter what happens in the remainder of the regular season, the Toronto Raptors have already exceeded some of the wildest expectations that a largely pessimistic media gave them before the 2021-22 season. Last year’s stint in Tampa appears to be more of an exception than a norm.

Despite leaning on young players at the expense of some veteran assets, Toronto has raced out to the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference while remaining within striking distance of leaping up to the sixth seed. Not bad for a team one year removed from the No. 4 pick.

Even with all of the projected starters locked up for 2022-23, some key members of an already thin bench are scheduled to potentially test the free agent market or end up in the rumor mill. This offseason will be nothing short of pivotal when it comes to sustaining their success.

These 3 Raptors either ended up in the rumor mill this season or will be free agents at the end of this season. If Masai Ujiri has enough foresight, he should make space for all three of these players next year.

3 Toronto Raptors who have earned roles with the 2022-23 squad.

3. Malachi Flynn

Flynn’s NBA career appeared to be dead in the water early in the season given how he completely fell out of the rotation. Injuries gave him another chance to prove himself to Nick Nurse, and he took full advantage by turning back the clock to his fantastic April last year.

Before getting hurt, Flynn was averaging 12.5 points per game on 51% shooting and 4.5 assists per contest in the second half. With Fred VanVleet dealing with some knee ailments, Flynn has emphatically reminded the Raptors that he has talent worth nurturing.

Malachi Flynn has improved for the Toronto Raptors.

The idea of trading Flynn made sense at the deadline, as he looked like someone who just needed a fresh start. These last few weeks have shown that Flynn can be a dynamic presence on the offensive end if he is given enough leeway, he can be an effective distributor and efficient scorer.

The Raptors should use their high second-round pick on a shooter that can add more scoring to the bench, but they should not burn it on a Flynn replacement. He’s proven himself enough to where Toronto should feel more than comfortable entering 2022-23 with him behind VanVleet.