The Toronto Raptors appeared to strike gold when they signed former Oklahoma City Thunder wing Svi Mykhailiuk to a short-term contract. After a strong preseason, Mykhailiuk started a handful of games early in the 2021-22 campaign. Things swiftly took a turn for the worse, unfortunately.
Mykhailiuk, who averaged just 4.6 points per game last year, was completely removed from the rotation in the middle part of the season. While the Raptors cruised to 48 wins and a postseason appearance, Svi was relegated to spot duty at the end of games that were already decided.
Mykhailiuk, who picked up a player option before the season, appeared to be one of several players with either no or very little guaranteed money fighting for one of a handful of spots on the opening night roster. Rather than let the Ukrainian wing fight his way back into Nick Nurse’s good graces, Masai Ujiri has parted ways.
Shams Charania is reporting that the Raptors are waiving Mykhailiuk, who is currently in the middle of EuroBasket competition with the Ukrainian national team. Mykhailiuk’s journey to find another taker in the NBA will be challenging, but not impossible.
The Toronto Raptors waived guard Svi Mykhailiuk.
Mykhaliuk connected on just 39% of his shots from the field and 30% of his 3-point attempts. With Mykhailiuk having been brought on as a sniping specialist who leaned on his ability to score more than any other trait, those struggles were a one-way ticket to the bench.
From January 1 onward, Mykhailiuk only hit 23% of his 3-point attempts. While the 6-7 wing does have some value as a defender, Toronto was not going to keep him around for 2022-23. Non-guaranteed players like Justin Champagnie and DJ Wilson made a stronger impression than Mykhailiuk.
The Raptors have one more roster spot that could open up after the Mykhailiuk waive. Considering how he participated in the Rico Hines runs, there is some speculation that former lottery pick Jarrett Culver could be high on Toronto’s radar. The Raptors could decide to just move forward with the group they have, as well.
Mykhailiuk will need to go to a team that is willing to work with him in order to get his 3-point shot back in order. Going to Europe and dominating could also be a path he pursues. Irrespective of what the future holds for Svi, keeping him around never seemed to be in the cards for Ujiri.