Raptors: Nick Nurse will unleash Juancho Hernangomez in rotation

Sep 26, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CA; Toronto Raptors forward Juancho Hernangomez (41) Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CA; Toronto Raptors forward Juancho Hernangomez (41) Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Toronto Raptors took longer than most to fill out their training camp roster, but that didn’t stop them from making a big splash by signing the NBA’s top thespian. Juancho Hernangomez, who became known all over the world as Bo Cruz thanks to Adam Sandler’s film Hustle, signed a one-year deal in Toronto.

Hernangomez hasn’t had a storybook progression in his pro career to this point, as the last few speans have been spent jumping from team to team. The Raptors gave him a guaranteed deal, but it was only for one season and for just above the league veteran minimum.

Considering that the Raptors were likely planning on running an eight or nine-man rotation, Juancho looked to be the tenth man on the outside looking in. Due to some unfortunate injury luck surrounding Otto Porter Jr. and Chris Boucher, Juancho may get a chance to star after all.

With Boucher and Porter on the mend, Nurse said that he is going to lean on Hernangomez as he tries to get a little extra shooting and offensive quality in the lineup. Are we going to get a resurgent Juancho or the same player who bounced around from team to team last season?

The Toronto Raptors are counting on Juancho Hernangomez.

Hernangomez averaged just 3.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per game last season, but that can be chalked up to inconsistent playing time and a thin diet of minutes. Hernangomez, a former No. 16 overall pick in Denver, averaged 8.4 points per game on 44% shooting in Minnesota. That’s the type of player Toronto expects him to be.

Hernangomez had an amazing summer on the court as well as on the silver screen, as he won a EuroBasket title with his brother Willy on the Spanish national team. Juancho came alive as Spain defeated France in the final, putting up 27 points in the winning effort.

Juancho averaged 2.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game in the preseason. He made 33% of his shots, all of which were 3-pointers. He doesn’t need to set the world on fire to be effective, but he will need to make sure his 3-point shot has made the trip to Canada.

While the pessimists among us might look to this as a sign that Boucher and Porter’s ailments are more serious than previously indicated, the optimists are excited to see what Juancho is bringing to the table. With a roster lacking shooting at the moment, Hernangomez needs to perform right out of the gate.

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