Building the perfect complementary piece for the Toronto Raptors' young core

Toronto has a solid batch of talented young players, but they are arguably missing a key player with the intangibles to help elevate the franchise's future.
Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors
Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors / Cole Burston/GettyImages
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3. Alex Caruso's elite defensive abilities

To begin, let's talk about Alex Caruso, the current Chicago Bulls guard who is known for his elite defensive skills in the NBA. Caruso may not stand out for his size or build, but don't let his unassuming appearance fool you - he is one of the league's most pesky defenders. Beginning his NBA journey moving up the ranks with the Los Angeles Lakers, Caruso quickly became a highly impactful player in the Lakers' rotation and solidified himself as a pivotal piece in the Lakers' 2020 title run.

His time in the bright lights of LA would come to an end in the 2021 offseason when Caruso signed a four-year, $37 million contract with the Chicago Bulls. It was in Caruso's new home of Chicago where his defensive prowess was on full display, as he was awarded a selection on the NBA's All-Defensive First Team after the 2022-23 season.

Caruso is in the top 5 percentile of defenders across the league this season, with a Defensive Box Plus/Minus (DBPM) of 2.3. In the company of players such as Rudy Gobert, Draymond Green, Jonathan Isaac, and Bam Adebayo, Caruso stands out as the only positional guard at the top of defender lists. Needless to say, Caruso's impact as a defender is exceptional, and any contending team across the NBA would love to have his services.

Taking this aspect of Caruso's game is essential for the tertiary star for the Toronto Raptors, as it would alleviate much of the pressure placed on Scottie Barnes' shoulders following the OG Anunoby trade. If the player could possess even half of what Caruso brings to the table as a defender, the Toronto Raptors would be in good hands. It's not every day you find a guard who possesses tremendous defensive skills, and it could prove very useful in Toronto, as they've been struggling on that end of the floor.