The Toronto Raptors are going to use the 2022-23 preseason to gauge just how strong the bench will be. Considering that they have their starting lineup completely figured out, the first few exhibitions in October will be used to ensure that this team is as well-rounded as possible.
While the core of this team is firmly fixed in place, bench players are likely living on a knife edge because they could be cut off if the Raptors find a better short-term option to beef up the second unit. The initial 17-man roster is not going to last all season long.
The Raptors will likely be on the lookout for buyout targets or big trade upgrades. As a result, players on the bottom end of the roster could be discarded. Even some of the 2021-22 holdovers are at risk, given how rapidly Masai Ujiri looks to rectify problems on this roster.
While Raptors fans made some memories centered around the exploits of these three players last year, there is a very good chance that none of this bunch end the season on the final roster. Don’t get too emotionally attached to any one of this trio.
3 Toronto Raptors who may not finish the season with the team
3. DJ Wilson
Even though his 2021-22 season with Toronto only lasted four games, Ujiri was so entranced by Wilson that he continued to bring him back on a series of 10-day contracts. Wilson is one of a handful of non-guaranteed players that will be fighting for a roster spot, alongside names like Josh Jackson and Justin Champagnie.
Wilson averaged 7.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in limited action, though his athletic ability and surprisingly effective defense helped him continuously get extra looks from this coaching staff. Even if he ends up making the roster, Wilson faces several uphill battles when it comes to playing time.
Will the Toronto Raptors keep DJ Wilson?
Retaining Thad Young and Chris Boucher in free agency will make it very difficult for Wilson to stay in the rotation as a backup for an extended period. His defensive skills might be his best bet when it comes to staying on the team.
Wilson has proven that he deserves a spot in the NBA, but the Raptors are too stacked at the position he plays best. If Wilson makes the roster, he could be one of the first Raptors to go if they chase veteran buyouts. Of course, if he plays like he did last year, those doubts will go out the window.