The Toronto Raptors delved into the acting world to find their latest signing, as Juancho Hernangomez, famous for his role on the silver screen as Bo Cruz, agreed to a one-year contract with the squad. Hernangomez is looking for a bounce-back season after an iffy year with the Utah Jazz.
Hernangomez has not lived up to the potential that many expected when he arrived in the NBA as a top-20 pick with the Nuggets, but he’d kept bouncing around the league as a trusted backup plan that can knock down shots and keep an offense flowing. That’s worth taking a shot on.
The Raptors are going to let the preseason determine which players will make the back end of their roster, as six or seven names will be fighting for one of those coveted spots. Hernangomez might have a slight advantage.
According to Keith Smith, Hernangomez’s contract is a fully guaranteed, veteran minimum seal. While he is still not promised a spot on the final roster, this is a sign that the Raptors wanted to give him a leg up over non-guaranteed names like DJ Wilson in the battle for a spot.
Toronto Raptors: Juancho Hernangomez contract details revealed.
In 17 games with the Jazz, Hernangomez averaged 6.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. After being cast aside by Boston and San Antonio, Juancho did a somewhat respectable job of showing the league he can contribute to a contender. The Raptors may need to toughen him up on defense to maximize their return.
Hernangomez’s main competition for minutes will be Wilson, who is one of many non-guaranteed players fighting for a spot, and rookie Christian Koloko. Hernangomez is the best offensive player of the three right now, and he could earn playing time if Koloko spends most of his rookie season with Raptors 905.
One interesting dynamic the Hernangomez guarantee creates the potential for Toronto to cut bait with Svi Mykhailiuk, who picked up a player option this offseason. If Hernangomez is not guaranteed a roster spot despite his guarantee, Toronto could just as easily part with the Ukrainian guard.
Hernangomez is not going to be a major difference-maker for the Raptors, but he could be a solid bench piece that can come in and hit big shots if called upon. Rather than trying to plug a square peg in a round hole with Mykhailiuk or lean on the inexperienced Wilson, Juancho could be a better win-now option.