3 Raptors who could lose playing time after NBA Draft moves

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 11: David Johnson #13 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 11: David Johnson #13 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Raptors have made several new additions to the roster in the last few days. With Christian Koloko added via the No. 33 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and Ron Harper Jr. quickly signed to a two-way contract after its’ conclusion, the Raptors are loading up on young talent.

As is the case with any new additions of this caliber, the potential to upset the rotation remains. A few very strong summer workouts and preseason games could be what prompts Nick Nurse to lean on the newcomers over veterans who have put in their time with the Raptors.

Even though Koloko and Harper figure to get some reps with Raptors 905 as they try to ease into life at the professional level, executives like Masai Ujiri wouldn’t have given them the contracts they have earned if he didn’t think that they had long-term rotation potential.

These three Raptors players were just handed a very strict message by Ujiri and the rest of the organization. Things will look a little different next year, and one of the changes that could be made is playing one of the young newcomers over an established veteran.

3 Toronto Raptors who could lose playing time to rookies.

3. David Johnson

Johnson not only faces competition for playing time, but he also faces competition for his roster spot. With names like Dalano Banton, Justin Champagnie, and Armoni Brooks all quickly jumping over him in the proverbial pecking order, Johnson could be on his way out of Toronto after just one season.

Johnson was on a two-way deal last season, but Champagnie outperformed him in the G League and got some NBA time. Johnson and Harper will likely be in direct competition with one another. With Brooks and Banton on the pro roster as depth, Toronto could choose to keep one more wing player and kick Johnson to the curb.

David Johnson will have a tough time making the Toronto Raptors.

Johnson could still be a productive professional player, as he managed to cut down on the turnovers in Mississauga, but shooting just 41% from the field and 32% from 3-point range didn’t exactly blow the Raptors away. Johnson managed 11.5 points per game in the G League, while Banton averaged 24.1 points per game.

Harper emerging as a player worthy of some NBA minutes would be a worst-case scenario for Johnson, as his inability to crack the pro roster last year didn’t exactly give him the strongest launching pad. Johnson will need to blow up Summer League to turn Nurse’s head.