2 Obvious, 2 subtle moves Darko Rajakovic must make to maximize Raptors' lottery odds

Kelly Olynyk, Toronto Raptors
Kelly Olynyk, Toronto Raptors / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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Subtle move: Start Kelly Olynyk at center

With Jakob Poeltl out of the lineup the obvious choice is to start Kelly Olynyk at center; he's the only proven 5 on the roster and he's under contract for two more seasons past this one, so it makes sense to elevate him and play him starter-level minutes.

What's less obvious is that Rajakovic can help propel the team toward losses by doing so as well. Kelly Olynyk has proven to be an abysmal rim protector over the course of his career; he moves his feet well, can defend decently well in space and at least tries hard, but he's not stopping anyone at the rim.

The Raptors are currently unable to do much to pair Olynyk with secondary rim protection at other positions, so they essentially are accepting a truly abysmal defense when he is on the court. Deandre Ayton of the Portland Trail Blazers is having a truly disappointing season, but matched up with Olynyk in the Raptors' latest loss and he popped off for a season-high 30 points and 19 rebounds.

Chris Boucher likely can't hold up for 35 minutes per game, but he at least gives the Raptors a chance on defense. Jontay Porter inexplicably was out of the rotation against the Blazers but has shown an intriguing combination of skill and paint defense, essentially an "Olynyk-lite" offensively but with more defensive impact. The Raptors would be much better off starting Boucher or Porter and letting Olynyk come off the bench; starting the veteran is a subtle way to maximize the tank.