The Toronto Raptors are just a few weeks away from officially starting their 2023 training camp. After a season fraught with tension and full of disappointment, Darko Rajakovic is trying to rip the Band-Aid off and start from scratch with a new collection of names.
So many players on this Raptors roster starter starting from zero with Rajakovic, as none of the goodwill they engendered with Nick Nurse will make much of an impact on the former Memphis Grizzlies assistant. This should make for an ultra-competitive training camp environment.
The Raptors will be counting on multiple role players to step up and occupy essential places on this team, as the general inability of the bench to do that in past seasons was one of the main reasons that Nurse is no longer the coach and the expectations have fallen off dramatically.
These three Raptors should come into camp ready to do some damage and show they need to be taken seriously. That combination of hunger, a desire to get in Rajakovic’s good graces, and their own natural talents will help them become fan favorites over the course of the season.
3 Toronto Raptors who will make a name for themselves in training camp.
3. Markquis Nowell
Any discussion of Nowell and his pro potential, for obvious reasons, must start and end with the fact that he is listed at a generous 5-8 and 160 pounds. The number of players who have made the NBA at that size is very small, and the amount who have carved out long careers can be counted on one hand.
Nowell is certainly not lacking in confidence, as the former Kansas State star believes that he will be the best player in franchise history and a future Finals MVP. The path to a long career in the pros begins with Nowell showing this roster that he means business.
Markquis Nowell could impress the Toronto Raptors.
Nowell will be able to show off his terrific passing ability, which Raptors fans got a quick taste of in Summer League, against an unsuspecting Toronto bench. A masterful turnover creator in college, Nowell’s defensive hustle is admirable to watch when he’s at his best.
Nowell will need to show that he can make more than 40% of his shots, something he was unable to do consistently at Kansas State, to impact the Toronto roster and get some rotation time. This will be difficult, but the Raptors have seen undrafted players do this before.