The Toronto Raptors have made large strides this off-season to try to become a better, more balanced team. They have specifically tried to implement a mini culture change, a change to try to solidify their formerly 23rd ranked defense. They have made their strides by signing stout defenders such as; Demarre Carroll, Bismack Biyombo, and Cory Joseph. They have also parted ways with defensive liabilities like Greivis Vasquez and Lou Williams.
There still is a major hole on the Raptors roster as of now, and that is the starting power forward. The Raptors have Patrick Patterson, but he is a better bench player as they desperately need shooting to go along with the likes of Cory Joseph, Terrence Ross, James Johnson, and Bismack Biyombo on the bench. They will have to make up for the losses of Lou Williams and Greivis Vasquez, so it is vital to keep Patterson on a bench role. They also have James Johnson who can play some minutes at the 4, but Dwane Casey isn’t a fan of his hi-jinks, and he’s not a great shooter. He can play some minutes there, but he’s not a starting quality power forward.
At the power forward position they need a nice compliment to 4th year center Jonas Valančiūnas. Valančiūnas, is a young offensive-minded center; he has a strong post game (313 points from the post in 14-15, at a rate of 51.3 % ranks him 12th among all players in points on the post); he is also a decent rebounder (8.7 RPG, 44.3 % contested rebound). But nevertheless, the Raptors need defensive rebounding, spacing, and defensive potential at the 4 to be a nice compliment to Valančiūnas.
So, if the answer to their starting power forward isn’t on the roster now, who is it? Is it a Free Agent? Well the Raptors only have about 4 million in cap space, as of right now, and the market seems to be pretty dried up, but their are a few options out there. Would their power forward come via a trade? Well, it’s certainly a possibility, as the Raptors have a few trade assets to try to get a new 4; these assets include the lower of DEN/NYK’s 16′ 1st, Toronto’s 16′ 1st, Toronto’s 17′ 1st, The Clippers 17′ 1st, and players like Terrence Ross and possibly James Johnson could be moved for the right power forward. So who are their options?
- Kevin Seraphin, Washington Wizards
Seraphin is an intriguing option. He’s only 25 and averaged only 15 minutes/game this past season. But in the limited amount of time he averaged 6.6 points and 3.6 rebounds. (averages out to 15.2/8.4 per 36 minutes). He gets most of his offense from the post area (210 points on the post, 41.6%; 48.1% percentile) which ranks him in the top 20 post players. He also has a respectable mid-range game. He shoots 43% from 8-16 feet, and 45.8% from 16-24 feet. Those numbers are similar to DeMar DeRozan; he certainly can space the floor beside Valanciunas.
Seraphin, also isn’t a defensive liability (0.7 BPG, allows only 47.6% to opponents at rim – that number is lower than DeAndre Jordan [48.7]), he’s also not a great rebounder though. He only averaged 3.6 RPG, but less impressively only 39.9% of his rebounds are contested (45 is average, above 50 is good). Overall Seraphin would be a serviceable PF for the Raptors and would be a player who would ultimately come cheap and they wouldn’t have to trade away assets. But questions about his rebounding lower his value; also is he really better than Patrick Patterson? Probably not – but it’s vital to keep Patterson on the bench.
- Carlos Boozer, Los Angeles Lakers
Carlos Boozer is a guy who the Raptors have been rumored to have interest in. Boozer, 33 is an aging vet past his prime. Boozer spent last year with the Lakers. He averaged 11.8 PPG and 6.8 RPG to go along with 0.2 BPG and 0.3 SPG. He is a very good screen setter in the pick-and-roll (20.8% frequency, for 118 points in 14-15). He posts up 20.8% of the time and scored 154 points on the post which is top-40 in the league. Boozer was disappointing defensively; he’s never been a rim protector or a shot blocker, but allowing 52.6% to opponents at the rim is unacceptable, that’s a very bad number.
Boozer is not a very good fit next to Valanciunas defensively. Boozer shot well from 8-16 feet (87 of 183 for 47.5%) and 36% from 16-24 feet which isn’t a bad number. He has spaced the floor effectively and is also a okay rebounder; he posted an impressive stat of grabbing 66% of rebounds in which he has a chance at, 10th best in the league. But, only 32.6% of his rebounds were contested, so he was getting lots of free rebounds. Overall,
Boozer may be a bit washed up but he could certainly offer some minutes off the bench for the Raptors, but not being able to serve a starting role is a negative.
Next page — Possible trade targets