After trading for Marc Gasol before the trade deadline expired, the Toronto Raptors find themselves with numerous roster openings. Of course, with the buyout market beginning to take shape, the Raptors will have plenty of options to bolster their bench and fill in any holes.
5. Shelvin Mack
While the Raptors have a fine backup point guard in Fred VanVleet, VanVleet is more of a scorer than a distributor, the latter of which is something Toronto lacks off the bench. Mack can fill that role.
While he is never going to post eye-opening box score numbers, Mack is a serviceable floor general who is a decent facilitator, an okay shooter and someone who can hold his own defensively.
Mack has bounced around the league quite a bit, so he has plenty of experience.
Would he get a ton of playing time with the Raptors? Probably not, but he would at least serve as a dependable option if head coach Nick Nurse wants a change of pace behind Kyle Lowry.
4. Ben McLemore
If there is one thing the Raptors lack, it’s outside shooting, as they rank just 23rd in the league in three-point percentage this season.
McLemore could help fix that.
While he isn’t the Ray Allen type of long-range bomber that many felt he would be when he came out of Kansas, McLemore is still a guy who can hit an open three, as evidenced by his 41.2 percent effectiveness rate with in 19 games with the Sacramento Kings this season.
McLemore would join a Toronto backcourt that could use some depth after the Raptors traded guards C.J. Miles and Delon Wright in the deal for Gasol.
3. Markieff Morris
With Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam in the fold, Morris might be a bit redundant, but he is still a proven scorer who ca spread the floor and guard multiple positions on the defensive end.
Of course, Morris’ health is a question mark, as he is currently seeking a second opinion on his neck injury that has kept him sidelined for over a month, but if he is right, he will make a terrific waiver-wire pickup for someone, including the Raptors.
Morris is not elite in any one category, but he is a good enough shooter where teams have to respect his ability to hit the three (he is a lifetime 33.8 percent three-point shooter), and he moves his feet well enough to play adequate defense in pick-and-rolls.
The 29-year-old can play power forward, or he can play center in small-ball lineups.
If one of Ibaka or Siakam has an injury or one of them is in foul trouble or maybe one of them just isn’t playing well, Morris is a pretty fine option to turn to.
Plus, Morris has some playoff experience from his days with the Wizards.
2. Robin Lopez
With the Raptors in need of some depth behind Gasol and Ibaka in the frontcourt, Lopez would be a perfect addition.
While Lopez’s minutes dipped considerably with the Chicago Bulls this season, let’s keep in mind the Bulls’ situation. A rebuilding team like Chicago is not going to have much use for Lopez, which explains his decrease in playing time.
The fact of the matter is that Lopez is a solid big man who can protect the rim, grab offensive rebounds and even knock down some jumpers and baby hooks.
He is a lifetime 52.7 percent shooter and also averages 3.8 offensive rebounds per 36 minutes over the course of his career, so he checks a couple of boxes right there.
Lopez is not going to be knocking down any three-pointers and he is not the type of center who can defend multiple positions, but he is solid enough in other areas where he can give the Raptors some productive minutes off the bench.
1. Marcin Gortat
If Toronto doesn’t like Lopez, maybe it can turn its attention to Marcin Gortat, who might actually be a better option.
Gortat is a bit better than Lopez on the defensive end and has a better track record overall, owning a couple of seasons with double-double averages under his belt.
Like Lopez in Chicago, Gortat’s minutes have dipped with the Los Angeles Clippers this season, as the Clippers have opted to go with a youth movement.
Still, Gortat has been productive, and translated over 36 minutes, he is registering 11.2 points and 12.5 rebounds a night.
The 34-year-old may not be the player he was during his early days with the Washington Wizards, but he is still a solid fundamental player who sets good screens, can score in the post and can play firm interior defense.
If the Raptors don’t scoop up Gortat, you can bet that another contender will.