2. Ben Simmons
At the risk of sounding overly critical, not having Simmons on the roster is a blessing in disguise for the Raptors. While he has looked more energetic and spry in the preseason, both Simmons and his employers have teased big comebacks in the past before an eventual flop.
Simmons, at his best, is a unique defensive stopper who can initiate offense as a passer. The bad parts of Simmons make him look like a huge net negative that even has head coach Jacque Vaughn scratching his head when it comes time to implement him into the greater two-way picture.
Ben Simmons could hurt the Nets, help the Toronto Raptors.
Simmons’ contract is officially an albatross, which could make it difficult for Brooklyn to correct some of their flaws at the trade deadline. While the Raptors are playing a very dangerous game with their free agents, it is indisputable that they are in a more financially flexible position.
Until Simmons overcomes his shooting mental block and plays with the same intensity that he did in his formative years, the Raptors shouldn’t be afraid of him. If Rajakovic’s defense prevents Simmons from getting to the rim, his value to Brooklyn could be limited offensively.