3 underrated Raptors who could make a massive difference next season

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 06: Jalen McDaniels #7 of the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 06: Jalen McDaniels #7 of the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Raptors are not regarded as a team that is going to accomplish much in the 2023-24 season, as the trade rumors surrounding Pascal Siakam and the team’s generally substandard offensive talent have them positioned to be a squad on the fringe of the postseason.

Masai Ujiri doesn’t seem to be so negative, however, as he thinks that bringing Darko Rajakovic in as the replacement for Nick Nurse is the secret ingredient this team needs to get back on track. The Raptors might need one or two of their bench players to step up.

The Raptors’ bench might not be viewed as a collection of elite role players ready to pop off like their championship 2019 unit was, but the talent is still there. The combination of untapped potential and battle scars this collective has makes for a more compelling bunch.

These three Raptors players should not be taken lightly by fans, as they have everything they need to be impact players that win the Raptors a handful of extra games this season. Siakam and Scottie Barnes get the hype, but these three should be watched very closely.

3 underrated Toronto Raptors who will make an impact.

3. Jalen McDaniels

The Raptors were so interested in signing McDaniels that they were willing to outbid a rival in the 76ers to secure his signature. While he saw his rotation time dip last year and is yet another 6-8 forward to throw on the pile, McDaniels has a higher ceiling than most of the names the Raptors have shuffled in and out.

McDaniels has shown to be a solid 3-point shooter, and his offensive game was starting to expand in scope during his time with the Hornets. Philadelphia was just not a good fit for him at that point in his career, and Toronto might be more willing to give him a consistent role.

Jalen McDaniels will help the Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors can double down on a defensive philosophy that was built to accommodate players like McDaniels. Not only was he a versatile piece that was let down by a poor defensive supporting cast in Charlotte, but he stood out as one of their best on-ball defenders.

McDaniels still has a ways to go before the Raptors can unleash him as an offensive threat. Still, a head coach like Darko Rajakovic could help accelerate his development in that area due to his history with player development and background as an offensive-minded coach.