After months of the usual offseason hand-wringing and speculation, Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors are finally ready to get the 2022-23 season going. With the preseason finally ready to get underway, Toronto will see just how deep and effective this roster is.
The first preseason game on the schedule comes against the Utah Jazz in Edmonton. Given how the Jazz completely bottomed out in favor of taking for draft choices, the Raptors will have a solid opportunity to show off most of their depth and give them a crash course in Nick Nurse’s system.
Last preseason, Yuta Watanabe helped show that he was worth keeping in his limited action. Justin Champagnie became a household name, and Dalano Banton was impressive enough to push for time ahead of Malachi Flynn. Expect more of the same this year.
Keep an eye on the three players in the preseason, and watch as these bold predictions start to come true. Who will be this year’s preseason darling that wiggles his way into the hearts of Raptors fans following a few strong weeks of exhibition production?
3 predictions for the Toronto Raptors’ 2022-23 preseason
3. Malachi Flynn leads the team in scoring.
Flynn is running out of time to prove that he can still be an effective player at this level, as Toronto is now in their third season of trying to make his game fit in with their system. Nick Nurse would be wise to put the ball in his hands and see what he is capable of.
Flynn has already shown that he can be a conference Rookie of the Month based largely on his offensive game, so the idea of him dominating the ball in the preseason shouldn’t exactly be surprising. While his improved defense was nice to see last year, Flynn isn’t sticking around unless his efficiency improves in short order.
Malachi Flynn should star for the Toronto Raptors.
Flynn going ballistic in a pro-am game might lead some to believe that he is right on the cusp of becoming a starter, but his 38% career field goal percentage says another. The former Mountain West Player of the Year hasn’t received consistent playing time, but his results have been mixed when he has been on the floor.
Flynn did average 16 points per game in a four-game stretch between February 28 and March 4 before he went down with an injury, so it’s not totally absurd to assume that he can turn a corner this season. He’ll need to start the year strong, and that quest will begin with a solid preseason.