4. Cory Joseph
Joseph mostly backed up Kyle Lowry during his two years in Toronto, but a wrist injury that required surgery cost the six-time All-Star 21 games in the 2016-17 season. It opened the door for Joseph to start, and he ran with it. The 6’3 guard averaged 11.2 points, 5.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.0 steal in 32.2 minutes per game. Strong numbers for a fill-in starter, but his upside was capped.
Fred VanVleet was a rookie and quickly proved worthy of minutes, but Toronto had zero available. Joseph was a steady reserve making $7.0 million per season. FVV offered some savings and upside as the backup point guard.
The Raptors traded Cory Joseph to the Pacers for virtually zero return. He loved playing for his hometown team, but there was just no room. Kyle Lowry was an All-Star, and Fred VanVleet had that potential if developed properly.
Cory Joseph filled in fine as a starter, and the Toronto Raptors won three playoff series in his two years with the team. The hometown point guard was always part of the rotation, but he left plenty to be desired. Joseph competes hard but has bounced around the league since leaving Toronto. The 6’3 guard is overmatched as a starter.