Toronto Raptors add veteran wing Will Barton to bolster their second unit

Nickeem Khan
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Many thought after the Jakob Poeltl trade that the Toronto Raptors would make at least one more move. Instead, they elected to stand still and proceed with essentially the same exact team, now with a bonafide trustworthy big. In the small sample size of Poeltl with this Raptors' team, he has performed greatly, however, the bench continues to show a lack of productivity with their play. Although the move came later than expected, Toronto has added veteran wing Will Barton to add more dependable and reliable play from the second unit.

The buyout market this season has been among the best it's been in recent years. However, with the Raptors having no available roster spots it wasn't expected for them to be aggressive in pursuing any buyout candidates. That didn't seem to be the case as they are set to sign the former Washington Wizard, who will be eligible for postseason play if the Raptors solidify a top-eight seed.

As mentioned prior, Toronto currently doesn't have an open roster spot. In order to sign Barton they will waive Juancho Hernangomez who in 27 games this season is averaging 2.7 points, 2.9 rebounds on 42 percent shooting from the field and 25 percent shooting from three. Compared to Barton, during his stint with the Wizards averaged 7.7 points but most importantly is nearly a 40 percent shooter from beyond the arc.

The Raptors have lacked in shooting this season and desperately need floor spacers. Although Barton hasn't played up to par as we are used to seeing, he is also playing the least amount of minutes since his third year in the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers.

By no means are the Toronto Raptors expecting the 10-year wing to come in and play 30 minutes a game, but with his skillset and ability to impact a game, he may very well become one of Nick Nurse's favourites.

This doesn't solve the issue of guard depth that lingers another day. However, Barton adds another reliable defender and shotmaker that will thrive in a Raptors offence that has been very stagnant all season. It was evident that the Toronto Raptors were focused on being a playoff team, but this move undoubtedly pushes them in that direction.

Photo Courtesy [AP Photo/Nell Redmond]