The Toronto Raptors are a team starved for defense. A healthy Delon Wright could help turn things around for them.
It’s easy to overlook Delon Wright when you look at the roster for the Toronto Raptors. Their point guard rotation is arguably the best in the league and minutes are hard to come by.
Kyle Lowry has been the best regular-season point guard in the East for a few years, while Cory Joseph is considered by many to be among the league’s best backup point guards.
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But the Raptors’ 20th overall pick in the 2015 draft has returned from injury and could be poised to make an impact for a struggling Raptors team.
It’s easy to see why the Raptors are so high on Wright. The 24 year old point guard has fantastic length at 6-foot-5 and is capable of defending multiple positions. For a team full of guys who struggle just to defend their own position, this would be a huge asset.
In both his NBA and D League stints, Wright has also displayed poise and an ability to take care of the ball. He’s even shown some ability as a shooter, although his three-point range has been streaky.
Since returning from his injury, Wright hasn’t had a chance to see the floor. He’s played three games for Toronto’s D-League affiliate, but none for the Raptors.
It’s a little surprising, when you consider undrafted point guard Fred VanVleet has been receiving steady minutes for Toronto over the last two games.
As the trade deadline approaches, the Raptors are faced with a true surplus at point guard. Lowry, Joseph, VanVleet, and Wright are all deserving of minutes. If the team is looking to address a deficiency at another position, moving one of their point guards should be part of the package.
Wright is currently not in a situation that’s conducive to developing his game. The Raptors can’t hope to develop two prospects in Wright and VanVleet behind Lowry and Joseph. It will always be a fine line for the Raptors between trying to contend and develop young talent.
While their top-end talent is in their primes, the rest of the roster is very young. Even Joseph is just 25 years old.
On paper, Wright brings the Raptors a lot of what they’ve been missing. A player that can be disruptive to the opposition, attack the rim, and create for himself and others. Allowing a talent like Wright to sit on the bench without being utilized would be a waste.
He’s already 24 years old and should be entering his prime.
Unfortunately for Wright, his uphill battle for minutes isn’t just impacted by the talent Toronto has at his position, but Dwane Casey’s insistence on playing Lowry heavy minutes. Lowry averaged 38.4 minutes in January and 39.5 so far in February.
Despite the point guard depth, the trust factor still isn’t there. Resting Lowry and giving more opportunity to Wright, among others could help keep Lowry fresh and prepare guys so that they can step up in the playoffs. But that does not appear to be the game plan at this point.
Ultimately the Raptors can’t be inactive when it come to their point guard position. Keeping the logjam in place without fully using their depth is unacceptable.
Either start playing the rotation more to find out what they have, or move one or two pieces to address an issue elsewhere with the roster. Resource management is so important for a team in Toronto’s position. They can’t afford to not utilize the talent that they possess.