Title: Raptors training camp battle: Who will crack the roster this year?
Date: October 11, 2021
Original Source: Sportsnet
Synopsis: In my first piece at my new home at Sportsnet, I broke down the Raptors’ camp battles for the final few roster spots.
Every coach wants a competitive training camp.
Complacency can invite poor habits early in a season, and there’s no better way to combat that than battles for touches, roles and jobs up and down the roster. If things aren’t “fluid” – a popular word in just about every Toronto Raptors camp the last few years – then guys aren’t being pushed enough.
The Raptors don’t have any of those problems right now. They came into camp with eight or nine potential starters, upwards of 11 potential rotation players and 20 players under contract, 19 of whom have legitimate claims at a roster spot. That’s a lot of guys to get a look at in a window that’s officially just 19 days long from the first full camp session to the roster cut-down date on Oct. 16.
Not even absences to four presumed rotation players – Pascal Siakam (shoulder), Khem Birch (health and safety protocols), Chris Boucher (finger) and Yuta Watanabe (calf) – could create opportunity for those fighting at the fringes to get real opportunity to show their stuff. Sam Dekker, Ishmail Wainright and Reggie Perry have combined for just 13 minutes played over three pre-season outings. With only a Monday-Tuesday back-to-back left for those competing for spots to make their closing statements, the leverage of these next two days feels immense.