Return or Burn: 4 guards Raptors could part with in offseason
Fred VanVleet and the Toronto Raptors find themselves at 32-34, thanks to some trademark Scott Foster messing around at the end of their game against the Denver Nuggets. Toronto may be going all-out to sneak into the postseason, but their future beyond this season is murky, to say the least.
While free agent Jakob Poeltl will likely be re-signed by Masai Ujiri, both VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. are expected to decline their player options and hit free agency in search of nine-figure contracts that could exceed what Toronto has available in their budget.
Toronto won’t be able to retain all of its stars in 2023-24, as the financial implications of doing so will be too much for ownership to shoulder. Moves need to be made, both in free agency and on the trade market, to keep Toronto financially flexible and competitively viable.
The guard position will be one spot that both Ujiri and the collective Raptors fanbase watch with a great deal of intrigue. With a quartet of backcourt mates potentially changing teams in the offseason, the Raptors need to be very judicious about how they approach this.
Should the Toronto Raptors keep these 4 guards?
4. Malachi Flynn
Flynn appears to have run out of chances in Toronto. Not only has two-way guard Jeff Dowtin Jr. appeared to have passed him in the hypothetical depth chart, but the Raptors appear to be more comfortable running lineups that have no point guard on the floor rather than leading on the San Diego State product.
Flynn is averaging just 4.3 points per game while making 37% of his shots, showing that his college production appeared to be more of a flash in the pan than proof of sustainable NBA success. Taking him over Desmond Bane is going to haunt this franchise for a very long time.
The Toronto Raptors must move off Malachi Flynn.
Flynn has been given chances to win a bench role, but he has since found himself back on Nick Nurse’s bad side after failing to make much of anything with the chances he has been given. It will be hard to envision a scenario in which either he or Dalano Banton is guaranteed much of anything next year.
Flynn needs a fresh start at this point, as neither he nor the Raptors will benefit much from watching him gather dust on the bench like a burial urn filled with Grandma’s ashes on the mantlepiece. A trade, even if it is for something very minimal in return, is needed for the “star” of Toronto’s infamous Women’s History Month video.