The Toronto Raptors experienced with a few different players in positions of prominence on the bench, but very few of them took to those enhanced roles. Svi Mykhailiuk tried his best, but he never seemed to really get into a groove after a promising start.
Mykhailiuk was brought into Toronto with the expectation that he could provide 3-point shooting for a team that is deficient in that area right now, but he was so poor in that area that he was released ahead of the 2022-23 season despite picking up an option earlier in the offseason.
Mykhailiuk needed to find a team willing to preach patience and give him a chance to show he can still be a viable NBA player. Toronto might not be the spot for him at this point in time, but that won’t stop one of their big division foes from buying a lottery ticket.
The rival New York Knicks signed Mykhailiuk to a partially guaranteed contract, giving him a chance to compete for a spot on the final roster. Hopefully, the Raptors don’t end up getting burned by a resurgent Mykhailiuk on a mission to prove Toronto wrong to give up on him.
Will Svi Mykhailiuk get back at the Toronto Raptors?
Mykhailiuk averaged just 4.6 points per game last year. After a solid start, he was relegated to spot duty at the end of games where the Raptors were on the delivering or receiving end of a blowout. His poor efficiency is ultimately what led to Toronto and the Ukrainian EuroBasket sensation parting ways.
Mykhailiuk shot just 39% from the field (second-worst mark of his career) and 30% from 3-point range, the worst percentage he’s put up as a pro. While he could, in theory, be a worthwhile addition for the Knicks if he gets back to his old form, he was downright unplayable at times last year.
The Raptors have seen a few of their old players join division rivals this season. In addition to Mykhailiuk joining the Knicks, fan favorite Yuta Watanabe signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Nets. Both of them would love nothing more than sticking it to the Raptors.
The Knicks don’t have the most robust collection of offensive talent outside of their primary scorers, so Mykhailiuk may fill a need if he gets back on track. Having said that, Toronto thought he would be that quick fix they needed during his poor 2021-22 season. Time will tell if Svi makes the most of what may be his last NBA chance.