As the only NBA team north of the border, the Toronto Raptors take great pride in their Canadian roots. With the Toronto area also being the country’s top producer of NBA talent, the Raptors have made it a point to give Canadian hoopers a spotlight in Toronto.
With free agency approaching quickly, the Raptors have some room on the roster for another Canadian.
With Gary Trent Jr. mulling over a player option and the roster lacking depth at the shooting guard/wing position, the Raptors need to look to free agency to strengthen the roster. In need of a 3-and-D type of player, there are a few homegrown options for the Raptors’ front office. Here are 3 Canadian players the Raptors could sign in free agency.
3 Canadian free agents the Toronto Raptors could sign
3. Nickeil Alexander-Walker
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander may be an All-NBA first-team talent and cast a shadow over his younger cousin, but Nickeil Alexander-Walker is a great young guard who could provide depth for the Toronto Raptors. At 6-6, he averaged 6.2 points per game last season, coming off the bench for Utah and Minnesota. A developing shooter, the Toronto native shot 38% on 2.4 three-point attempts per game, a career-best.
On the offensive end of the floor, Alexander-Walker provides outside shooting, as previously mentioned, playmaking. Playing just 15 minutes per game off the bench, his playmaking metrics are reflective of starter potential and could be valuable to the Toronto offense.
Will Nickeil Alexander-Walker join the Toronto Raptors?
Defensively, Alexander-Walker brings stellar perimeter defense and ball-stopping ability. Basketball Index ranked him in the 93rd percentile for his on-ball perimeter defense and the 86th percentile for his matchup difficulty. He is not afraid of a tough matchup, and his skills could shine in the Raptors’ defensive culture.
Alexander-Walker is an RFA this summer and will face a qualifying offer from Minnesota for roughly $7 million for 2023-24. While he fell off the face of the earl in terms of playing time, Toronto could give him a new lease on life.