4 Raptors players who need monster stretch runs to save their job

R.J. Barrett, Toronto Raptors
R.J. Barrett, Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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No. 3: Ochai Agbaji

The Toronto Raptors made a deal at the Trade Deadline that isn't entirely straightforward. Their trades ahead of the deadline moved off of OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam for packages that focused on young talent over future draft picks. The motivations there were obvious.

Less obvious was their deal with the Utah Jazz that sent Otto Porter Jr., Kira Lewis Jr. and a 2024 first-round pick in exchange for veteran big Kelly Olynyk and Ochai Agbaji. With Toronto seeming to embrace a brief rebuild, was the deal more about buying low on second-year lottery wing Agbaji? Was it about adding Kelly Olynyk and hoping to re-sign the Canada native?

If the deal was about Agbaji, it's likely been somewhat of a letdown thus far. He is shooting just 30 percent from deep since joining the Raptors, with more turnovers than assists, and his defense has been nothing to write home about.

If the deal was about Olynyk, and Agbaji was more of a throw-in, then the pressure is even more intense on the sophomore down the stretch. There is a place in the rotation for a player with his skillset, but if he can't hit shots then that spot will evaporate quickly. He has averaged just 13.9 minutes per game since arriving; that number may go up as the Raptors evaluate their young players down the stretch, and Agbaji has to make the most of those minutes.

If he doesn't then everything from having his fourth-year option declined to being dumped again in a trade are on the table.