Toronto Raptors: Will Terrence Ross Stay or Go?


Toronto Raptors: Will Terrence Ross Stay or Go?

With the NBA free agency season in full swing, the Toronto Raptors may very well have a few moves left to make, and one may or may not include Terrence Ross.

As of now Ross is signed through the end of the 2016-17 season on his initial rookie deal he signed with the Raptors back in 2011.

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With the departure of two shoot first, pass second guards, the role of scoring off of the bench has now primarily fallen to Ross if remains on the team.

In other words, if Toronto makes no further additions to the wings this offseason, then it is clear that what GM Masai Ujiri is displaying could be his last show of faith in the young wingman.

During the 2014-15 campaign, Ross devolved from a respectable multi-facet scoring threat, to a one-dimensional three-point shooter, who managed to hit .372 percent of his shots from behind the arc last season, only to drop even further to .333 percent during the playoffs.

The numbers themselves were not atrocious, but his lack of offensive development in attacking the rim and drawing fouls, settling for low percentage mid-jumpers, and a decrease in rebounds per game only lessened his value.

But according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet, Ross may not entirely be at fault for his drop in production.

Apr 10, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez (21) and forward Terrence Ross (31) talk against the Orlando Magic during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

“For all of the struggles and successes he’s had last year, he was the guy that was kind of squeezed out the most by Lou Williams and Greivis Vasquez, that’s where the chemistry really suffered and certainly among your starting five the isolation ball crept in a bit and became more and more of the main menu item as the season went on.”

Grange went on to suggest that coming off the bench, Ross could prove to be an invaluable second unit scoring option, especially playing alongside a proven distributor such as Corey Joseph.

It also could be the reason GM Masai Ujiri will be electing to give Ross another shot at becoming the third offensive option on what will almost certainly be a playoff team.

This was a set up that Ross thrived under while playing with the likes of Jose Calderon and Kyle Lowry on a night-to-night basis just a couple of seasons ago.

When you add in his age at 24, it becomes a very delicate situation with a tough question to ponder.

Do you trade a young player that could currently be at his highest value? Or do you roll the dice and hold on to a player who may never get any better than what we currently see?

Feb 23, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Terrence Ross (31) walks off the court following a loss against the New Orleans Pelicans in a game at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Raptors 100-97. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Alas it all comes down to whatever Ujiri wants for this team, and what remains available through free agency.

Ross has shown the potential for massive offensive outbursts, but he has never been consistent enough to lock down long-term.

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  • There was another Raptor that once played second fiddle to an all-star on this team, his name was Tracy McGrady.

    Although McGrady never got his team out of the first round of the playoffs after he left Toronto, I doubt the front office or the fan base would hesitate for a do over after what they would witness just a season or two down the line from T-Mac.

    Does Ross have that potential?

    Before the 2014-15 season, and before Williams and Vasquez ate up all of Ross’ shots, you could have made that argument.

    You don’t score 51 points in this league — a Raptors franchise record by the way — and not have all-star potential.

    But even more intriguing, does Ross even need to be that consistently good to be worth re-signing for the Raptors?

    Bottom line is that no matter what happens, it could prove to have the biggest impact on this roster coming into this season.

    Whether it is for better or worse is entirely up to Ross.

    Next: Raptors Agree to One-Year Deal With Luis Scola

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