Toronto Raptors: 14 bold predictions for the 2017-18 season

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 27: DeMar DeRozan /
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Toronto Raptors
TORONTO, ON – MAY 05: Jonas Valanciunas /

3) Jonas Valanciunas gets moved to the bench

Jonas Valanciunas remains wrestling point in Raptors fandom. Should he be getting more touches to show what he can really do? Or should he embrace his utilitarian role within the starting lineup?

Well this season, the Raptors are playing a new motion style offence with a lot of players swirling around screens for curls or flares. And in this new offence, coach Casey is using the big men to make passes to cutters and open players off screens. The passing is obvious, but the Raptors have better players to do it, such as Lucas Nogueira.

BeBe is an underrated passer and slotting him into a system that requires it, would accentuate his play along with his teammates. JV’s strengths have always resided within the paint with the ball above his head or in his hands.

However, the starting offence clearly isn’t predicated on that, so why not move him to the bench? The bench needs scoring, the only reliable one is Powell and it’s not like Valanciunas is providing any rim protection in the starting 5.

Move him to the bench and exploit the mismatches that are already inherently there. Teams like to play small, rebounding is scarce and back up bigs’ aren’t necessarily adept at banging in the post.

The bench can run the ol’ 80 Lakers offence, run in transition to see if you can get something quick and if you can’t bang in the post, rely on the big man. Casey likes to play 90’s basketball, why not scale it back another 10 years? It’s seems to be right in his wheel house.