2. Juancho Hernangomez
Hernangomez, fresh off his star turn as Bo Cruz in Adam Sandler’s basketball scouting love-letter Hustle, landed in Toronto after signing a one-year deal with guaranteed money. Considering how he struggled to find a home last year, Toronto is banking on a big jump in production.
Usually, players vying for a spot at the back end of the bench are not among those who would be highlighted on Media Day. With Hernangomez embarking on his first season post-film breakout, the press will likely pick the actor/power forward’s brain and find out what the last few months have been like.
Toronto Raptors: Juancho Hernangomez will have stories to tell.
Between taking his turn as the league’s resident thespian and meeting his new teammates, Juancho teamed with his brother Willy to help Spain win the Eurobasket final. After an up-and-down start to the tournament, Hernangomez saved his best game for the final by scoring 27 points and raining down 3-pointers on France.
We may not see Hernangomez become a locked-in rotation presence unless injuries beset the Raptors, but there may be no more famous mop-up player in the league. If he is forced into action, Nurse will do everything he can to make sure the ascending youngster we saw in Minnesota makes the trip.