LX

Scouting report: New Raptors sharpshooter Matt Thomas


Quote:

The Toronto Raptors have their man.

OK, not that man. But after two years of trying to bring Matt Thomas into their organization, they’ve succeeded.

The Raptors are signing Thomas to a three-year deal, as first reported by Varlas Nikos of Eurohoops. The deal is for $4.2 million over three years, sources tell our Shams Charania. That’s a three-year minimum with a starting salary of $898,310, great for adding depth under the tax, but the Raptors will have to use a small part of whichever mid-level exception they wind up with to bring him in, as the minimum contract exception only allows for deals up to two years. (They did not figure to use the full mid-level in most cases. At the minimum and this small a chunk of an exception, Thomas’ addition should have no bearing on other roster moves. The Raptors now have 10 players under contract and plenty of work to do in this range of salary whether Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green stay or go.)

The Raptors have been tracking Thomas, one of the best shooters in the world outside of the NBA, for a few years now. After going undrafted (and largely unranked) after four seasons at Iowa State, Thomas wowed in a pre-draft workout with the Raptors in the spring of 2017. Coming off junior and senior seasons where he shot 43.2 and 44.5 percent, respectively, on large volumes of 3s, Thomas broke Raptors draft workout shooting records. Toronto had hoped to bring him into their development pipeline and even listed him on their roster for Las Vegas Summer League, only for him to wind up playing there for the Lakers. He shot a scorching 17-for-28 on 3s in the tournament but ultimately decided to eschew any G League opportunities to begin his pro career overseas.

Thomas has continued building a reputation as an elite marksman in Spain. In 2017-18 with Monbus Obradoiro, he knocked down 45.9 percent of his 3s on more than five attempts per game. That earned him a look with a higher-level club, and he signed a two-year deal with Valencia that contained an NBA out clause after one year. Once again, Thomas’ shooting was on display, as he hit 48 percent on 244 3-point attempts, an elite mark even with the FIBA 3-point distance considered. Thomas’ overall role declined slightly on a higher-level team, but his overall numbers – 12 points on 67.8-percent true-shooting and 24.2-percent usage – remained strong. He even won the Spanish ACB 3-point contest for good measure. The term “shooting guard” is very accurate here, as that makes up the bulk of his game.

What’s more, he caught fire in EuroCup competition – Europe’s second-tier continental competition after EuroLeague – and helped lift Valencia to a EuroCup championship. Over the 23-game concurrent league, he hit 47.7 percent on 3s, including a 14-for-30 mark over the three double-legged elimination rounds to close it out. Valencia were 11 points per 100 possessions better with Thomas on the floor during EuroCup, per data from Overbasket.com, including a 13.6-point per 100 possession swing on offence.

[shot-chart]

(Matt Thomas’ EuroCup shot chart, via Overbasket.com.)

As encouraging as those numbers are, translating them to the NBA can be difficult. Based on international Player Impact Plus-Minus data provided by Jacob Goldstein, Thomas was worth 1.31 points per 100 possessions in Spanish ACB action and 4.17 in EuroCup action. So his impact was real beyond just adding a boost from long-range. The entirety of that value comes on offence, as Thomas isn’t much of a defender by eye test or by analytics. The normal translation for those stats is stark coming to the NBA. Using those PIPM numbers from last year and without factoring in any growth yet, Thomas projects as a small positive on offence and a negative on defence.

There aren’t many comparables from this NBA season in terms of his translated impact at both ends, but Marco Belinelli and Tim Hardaway Jr. are in the same general area, with Joe Harris as a potential upside target.

[thomas-pipm]

(Matt Thomas’ rough NBA projection, relative to 2018-19 NBA spread, based on Spanish ACB and EuroCup data provided by Jacob Goldstein.)

What’s encouraging about Thomas’ potential to translate his game is just how tremendous a shooter he is. Over his two pro seasons, 53 percent of his shot attempts have come from long-range, and even as defences have tried to account for one of the highest-volume 3-point gunners in those leagues, he’s continued to hit an elite percentage. Synergy Sports shows him posting an effective field-goal percentage of 82 percent on catch-and-shoot jump shots, including a ridiculous 99-percent mark when left wide open. He’s also an elite free-throw shooter, which backs up the quality of his shot even on pretty small volume.

Digging into some tape, it’s clear that Thomas excels off the ball. He has tremendous footwork, flies off screens and hand-offs and rarely stops moving on the offensive end.

With Valencia, they would often use Thomas as a decoy early in sets to scramble a defence and then find him open after a relocation. Nick Nurse should have some fun with that skill set, particularly his knack for screening for a big and then flaring out for a 3.

Thomas also has the ability to pull-up for 3s, with a decent change-of-direction move coming around or rejecting screens to create space.

He’ll lack the burst to blow by too many closeouts against NBA defenders, but Thomas at least demonstrates an ability to put the ball on the floor if the 3 isn’t there.

That includes some very crafty moves, either to draw fouls or create space for a mid-range pull-up. He’s smart snaking through traffic or keeping the defender on his hip and has a bit of a floater game when space allows. Those might be tougher to get off against NBA length, and he’ll probably struggle a bit getting to the rim or the line. Still, they’re important skills to possess.

What stood out most about watching some Thomas tape other than the sheer depth of some his attempts was how well he passes the ball. At no level has Thomas averaged more than 2.5 assists per game because the ball isn’t in his hands a ton, but he makes very quick decisions to either shoot, dribble or pass, and he anticipates how a defence is going to react to his gravitational pull really well. Even when given some pick-and-roll opportunities, at 6-foot-5 he sees the floor well enough to make the right pass when opponents sell out to stop the pull-up, and he’ll drop a quick dime off a curl if blitzed.

All told, there’s a lot to like about Thomas’ offensive game. He moves incredibly well off the ball, navigating screens and freeing himself to get open, where he’s an elite shooter from the FIBA line with range beyond it. He can put the ball on the floor a little bit if the shot’s not there, and he’s a savvier passer than his numbers might indicate when he does, or when he reads the defence a step ahead. At worst, he profiles as a pretty good shooting specialist, filling the theoretical Jodie Meeks role lower on the depth chart.

There’s a reason Thomas was available on a multi-year minimum, of course. He doesn’t rebound particularly well, doesn’t create a ton of pressure on the ball to force turnovers and is largely a non-factor defensively. He can probably survive against opposing bench units, but the Raptors will need to try to protect him against sturdier lineups, as he doesn’t have the lateral quickness or the strength to contend with most NBA wings.

Still just 24, Thomas has ample time to improve, and he’ll get the rest of the offseason to try to do so in the Raptors’ player development incubator. He immediately becomes the best shooter among their depth pieces, able to perhaps step into a larger role in a scenario where the Raptors lose Leonard and Green or grow into one more slowly if they’re retained. Landing an elite shooter on a team-friendly, multi-year, minimum contract seems like a worthwhile flier no matter the question marks about the rest of his game, and there’s no cost other than a roster spot, of which the Raptors have plenty.

Two years after first showing interest in him, the Raptors have landed their guy. Betting on one of the best shooters in the world to become a decent role player is smart, no matter what happens with their other 

Quote 2 0
LX
https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/beyond-the-arc-the-story-behind-the-legend-of-matt-thomas-145602723.html

Quote:

Beyond the Arc: The story behind the legend of Matt Thomas

Yahoo Sports CanadaSep 26, 2019, 10:56 AM
(Ciaran Breen/Yahoo Sports Canada)
View photos
 
There is a lot of intrigue around Matt Thomas entering his first NBA season. (Ciaran Breen/Yahoo Sports Canada)
More

In Onalaska, Wisconsin, a small town of 18,000 people on the banks of the Mississippi River where Friday night high school sports is what most people center their lives around, they still talk about the legend of Matt Thomas.

They still remember the fundraiser he attended in sixth grade, when a free throw competition broke out and he made 99 out of 100. Or the AAU tryout when elementary school kids were put through NBA-level 3-point shooting drills. Asked to make 15 3-pointers from five different spots in a minute and a half, Matt cleared the drill in 53 seconds.

At the local YMCA, there are still reports of players swishing a game-clinching 3 and celebrating by yelling out Matt Thomas’s name, because he is the iconic sharpshooter who grew up there and led the Onalaska High School men’s basketball team to a 27-1 record and a Division II state championship in his junior season. They still remember when he scored a career-high 50 points in just two and a half quarters in his senior season.

Martha Thomas remembers that game like it was yesterday. She was sitting in the stands, watching her son make jumper after jumper. Two minutes into the game, Matt had 12 points. By halftime, everyone in the gym knew he was headed towards a career night. Head coach Craig Kowal found Martha in the stands at halftime. “I think your record is getting broken tonight,” Craig said.

Martha could only shake her head and laugh. Growing up, she played high school basketball at Wahlert High School in Dubuque, Iowa. Back then, the game was six-on-six basketball. Each team had three designated offensive players. The three defensive players could not cross the half court line. Martha once scored 48 points in a game, a family record that had held up for decades, until tonight.

Martha knew this day was inevitable. At the age of five, Matt was already running around in the backyard roleplaying as a future sports star. Martha scoured garage sales looking for anything her son could use as a costume. “If I found a blanket,” Martha says. “He would turn it into a cape.” In his backyard, Matt scored game-winning touchdowns, hit walk-off home runs and hit buzzer-beating 3s.

By the time he was eight, Matt left baseball and football behind and focused on basketball. Martha laid some concrete in the backyard so her son could have a proper basketball court to shoot hoops. Matt spent countless hours honing his jumper. By the time he turned nine, he had a request for his mom. He wanted to practise shooting 3s, but the court wasn’t big enough. So Martha brought the contractors back to lay down an additional three feet of cement so Matt could have a 3-point line.

The responsibility of managing Matt’s passion for basketball fell squarely on Martha’s shoulders. During Matt’s childhood, his father Greg — who dealt with alcohol and drug abuse issues — committed suicide at the age of 45. Tony, the eldest of the three siblings, was in seventh grade. Matt was in fifth grade. Josie was in second grade.

Martha felt alone, especially when it came to making decisions about her kids, but she knew it was important to make sure their life wasn’t interrupted. “You have three of them going in different directions,” Martha says. “And you wanted to keep life as normal as possible.” So Josie kept going to ballet classes, Tony wouldn’t miss any football practices, and Matt could continue traveling to different states for AAU games.

Martha always put her children first, in hopes they would have the best available path towards whatever they wanted to pursue. Now, inside the Onalaska High School gym against Tomah, Matt is making 3-pointers look like layups. Thirty five points. Forty points. Forty five. Forty six. Forty seven. “Take him out,” Martha yells jokingly. Craig looks at Martha in the stands again. This time, he can only shake his head and laugh. The record is really falling.

Matt finishes with 50 points on 21-for-30 shooting with six 3-pointers, leaving the game for good in the middle of the third quarter in a blowout win. Martha embraces her son afterwards but reminds him that back when she played, there wasn’t a 3-point line, so the record probably still technically belongs to mom.

“Keep working buddy,” she tells Matt.

***

The legend of The Iceman was born at Onalaska High School. (Courtesy Martha Thomas)
View photos
 
The legend of The Iceman was born at Onalaska High School. (Courtesy Martha Thomas)
More
 

Matt has taken his mom’s words to heart ever since that record-setting night. After a decorated high school career at Onalaska, he spent four years at Iowa State before playing overseas for two seasons in Spain. This summer, all of the hard work culminated in his first NBA contract when he agreed to a three-year, $4.2 million contract with the Toronto Raptors.

Aside from the fact he had a 99 percent effective field-goal percentage on wide-open shots last season with Valencia, Raptors fans know very little about their newest signee. Teammates and coaches have plenty of stories about Matt’s sharpshooting, but family and friends also remember stories that help fill in the blanks about his journey from high school star to NBA player.

Dustin Gordon met Matt in fourth grade. The two quickly became close friends. After Matt’s father passed away, the Onalaska community rallied around the Thomas family. Dustin’s dad Todd became a father figure to Matt. “He took him under his wing,” Martha says. “He did everything a father would do.” Sometimes, Dustin would ask Matt to hang out, only to find out he was already at his house.

The two were teammates on the high school basketball team. Dustin remembers Matt as a skinny, short freshman who didn’t lack in confidence, making a game-winning free throw on the road once which earned him the nickname The Iceman. He also remembers how Matt transformed into a physically imposing team leader in his junior season. Matt would always be the last person to leave the gym. After practices, he would challenge teammates to play one-on-one. Matt, a right-hander, would play left-handed to level the playing field. “He still beat me 10 games in a row,” Dustin says. “That’s when I was like, ‘okay, yeah, I get the hype.’”

The story Dustin wants to share about Matt doesn’t involve basketball at all. A month after winning the state championship, Matt was playing at an AAU tournament in Milwaukee. Just before tip-off, Martha received a call. Todd had gone missing while boating at his cabin. Authorities had begun searching for his body, fearing he had drowned. Martha watched the game with a heavy heart, and delivered the news to Matt afterwards.

The two left the tournament immediately and drove five hours to the cabin. They met Dustin and one of his family friends off the main highway nearby. “It was three in the morning and no one was around,” Martha says. “To watch those two boys just hug each other and cry, it was the most gut-wrenching thing ever.”

As the search for Todd continued, Matt remained with Dustin at the cabin. “I needed to be there for him,” Matt says. Over three weeks after he was reported missing, a private boater found Todd’s body near Rice Lake, not far from where he was believed to have fallen in the water. Todd was 50. At the funeral service, Matt sat next to Dustin and spent most of the summer by his side.

“There wasn’t much said between us,” Dustin says. “It was a mutual understanding. You’re 17 at the time and you don’t have a good grasp on life in general. Matt was very reassuring throughout. He forced me to go out and do stuff with him. He treated me like a normal person and just made sure I wasn’t laying around all day. He kept telling me everything was going to be alright. He stayed in my house and slept on the floor in the bedroom for weeks on end after everything happened.”

Today, the two remain close friends.

“Our friendship started with tragedy. But we’ve kept growing after that. Looking back, he was one of the biggest reasons why I was able to get through it. It’s something I’ll never be able to repay him for. You never have to ask Matt twice to do anything. He just goes above and beyond and puts his friends above himself. That’s a special quality not a lot of people have.”

***

Matt Thomas.
View photos
 
Matt Thomas was always on the grind at Iowa State. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
More

When Matt’s father passed away, Tony, the eldest of three siblings in the household, felt a responsibility to support his mom. “I wanted my younger siblings to look at me as someone who was doing okay, as someone who could show them a kind of strength,” Tony says. “That was my role, to let them know it was going to be okay.”

Through the process of grieving and moving on, Tony also came to learn about his father’s substance abuse issues growing up. “My mom was very transparent in telling us about the problems he had,” Tony says. “It never affected us the way it did to our father, but we are his offspring and we have that same gene. It’s that crave, that potential for addiction.”

Before the start of Matt’s sophomore season at Iowa State, he was pulled over by police in Ames, Iowa, and arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. “Unfortunately, it’s a mistake a lot of people make in the Midwest,” Tony says. Matt spent the night in jail. The following morning, he called his mom to deliver the news. They both broke into tears over the phone.

The incident forced Tony and Matt to have serious conversations about their father’s passing. It was important to Tony that his brother didn’t just brush the incident aside. “When people experience this type of stuff, they can react to it in completely different ways,” Tony says. “You can shy away from the mistake, there’s a variety of things that can happen. Matt really took it head on.”

Matt reached out to Chris Herren, the former NBA player who has written and spoken at length about his own substance abuse issues. The two started texting regularly. Soon after the incident, Matt attended classes to learn about substance abuse and went to different high schools to share his own experiences with students. He quit drinking for a year after the arrest.

“I don’t think I was necessarily going down the wrong path,” Matt says. “But at the same time, it was a lesson I needed to learn and I used it as an opportunity to reprioritize what was important in my life.”

What was important was not letting his family and friends down again and also to continue his pursuit of playing professional basketball. The first two seasons at Iowa State was a major adjustment for Matt, who had gone from high school star to starting just 15 of 36 games in his freshman season. His scoring average went from 5.5 points to 4.9 points in his second season, when he came off the bench for all 32 games and averaged just 15.3 minutes per game, down from 21.2 in his freshman season.

Despite having the reputation of being one of the best shooters in the country, Matt knew he needed to improve on the other end of the court if he wanted to stay on the floor. Naz Mitrou-Long was a teammate at Iowa State and Matt’s roommate during his senior season. “He was getting knocked for his defense the first two years,” Naz says. “So between his sophomore and junior year, he took it upon himself everyday in the gym to get better.”

Matt spent more time in the weight room and sought out the strength coach to work on specific drills to improve his lateral movement. In his junior season, Matt worked his way back into the starting lineup and had his best season at Iowa State, averaging 11.0 points and 2.5 3s per game on 43.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc. He also became a reliable player on defense. T.J. Olzelberger was an assistant coach at Iowa State. “He’s the guy we would put on the opposing team’s best perimeter player,” T.J. says.

Naz also noticed a more confident player on the court. “The confidence comes from the work,” Naz says. “He’s a perfectionist on and off the court. A big difference between pro and college guys is that pros have their routine down. Matt already had that in college.”

In his senior season, Matt made 89 3s, which tied for fifth-best in school history. His 254 career 3s is the third-most in history. He finished his career as a Cyclone as a 40.1 percent shooter from beyond the arc, the sixth-best percentage in school history.

Steve Prohm, head coach of Iowa State, believed then and still does now, that Matt will settle into an NBA role. “You look at guys like Steve Kerr or John Paxson,” Steve says. “Why can’t Matt Thomas be that at some point?”

***

Matt Thomas will get his first taste of the NBA after starring for Valencia last season. (Photo by Rodolfo Molina/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images)
View photos
 
Matt Thomas will get his first taste of the NBA after starring for Valencia last season. (Photo by Rodolfo Molina/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images)
More

When Matt was a kid, he would be pretty troublesome at the dinner table. “Foods couldn’t touch, so he wouldn’t have casserole,” Martha says. “He could only eat three vegetables: carrots, broccoli and corn. And the corn had to be on the cob.” Flash forward to two years ago. Martha is in Valencia visiting her son, watching Matt speak fluent Spanish while ordering octopus omelettes for breakfast and paella with squid for dinner.

After four years at Iowa State, Matt entered the 2017 NBA draft and went undrafted. That summer, he helped the Lakers to a summer league championship before signing with Monbus Obradoioro of the Liga ACB league in Spain. “That was hard,” Martha says. “I knew I would miss him, and as a mom, you always worry. Now he’s in a different country speaking a different language.”

In Spain, Matt opened himself up to a brand new world of possibilities. He took private lessons to improve his Spanish. He became more adventurous with his food choices. His more daring move: coffee. “I was never a huge coffee drinker,” Matt says. “But I really embraced the European culture of drinking coffee. Some guys had three cups a day. I wouldn’t do that, but I definitely started drinking more coffee.”

When he had downtime, Matt flew to different countries, exploring Rome, Berlin and London. “As a kid from a small town in Wisconsin, we never had the ability to travel out of the country,” Matt says. “I never imagined myself being in that situation, to fulfill my dream of being a professional basketball player and getting to see the world.”

This past season, Matt switched over to another Liga ACB league team, Valencia Basket. He won the league’s 3-point shooting contest and averaged 12.1 points while shooting 48.1 percent from 3 and helped lead Valencia to a EuroCup championship. It earned him an opportunity with the Raptors, although Matt knows it will be a tough battle to earn a spot in the rotation.

“I understand that people are going to doubt me,” Matt says. “I need to prove that I belong and I can play at this level. I believe in what I can do and what I can bring to the table. It’s not a time to sit back and relax, like hey, I made it — that’s not my mindset. I’m going to continue to work everyday, continue to get better, and prove that I belong at this level. It’s a fun opportunity to start at the bottom again. I get to prove myself again.”

Martha, who still lives in the same house in Onalaska where Matt first started honing his 3-point shot, found out about the news while at work and couldn’t hold back tears of joy. The outpouring of congratulatory messages from the community has been overwhelming. Martha wishes Matt and Dustin’s father could be here to share the moment. “Both their dads would be so proud,” Martha says. “Matt’s dad is smiling down too. I would love to see his face watching Matt play. I would love to see Todd’s face hearing the news.”

Her three kids are now grown up and taking care of themselves. Josie plays for the women’s basketball team at the University of Dubuque. Matt just signed his first NBA contract. Tony will be joining Matt in Toronto for the next step of his basketball journey. To see how her kids have remained so close and supportive of each other is incredibly satisfying for Martha. “Seeing them now, it makes me feel like I did some things right along the way,” she says. “I think they would do anything for each other and anything for me.”

For Matt, who has fought through personal and professional adversity to get to this point, it’s hard sometimes to describe how appreciative he is of what his mom has done for the family.

“It’s incredible looking back,” Matt says. “I can’t even put into words how thankful I am for everything she’s done for me, my brother and my sister. The way she sacrificed any of her needs and always put us first. My mom is an incredible person, and I just hope one day I can be a father and a parent the way she was and be able to raise kids the way she was able to with us.”

Quote 1 0
Acie
[X-B7mQM__normal]
Toronto Raptors@Raptors">@Raptors
 

.@Theiceman_21 needs a 4-point line.

222 people are talking about this
 
Quote 1 0
Acie
Quote:

Through 27 games, Thomas is shooting 34-for-66 from beyond the arc and leads the NBA in three-point percentage (52 per cent) among players that have attempted at least 50 treys.

While opposing teams may not be spending time preparing for him directly, most of them know what he’s looking to do – and what Nurse wants him to do – when he comes into a game. He’s out there to stretch the floor. He’s out there to shoot. Generally, that means those shots aren’t going to come easy. Teams will face-guard him and make sure he doesn’t have much time or space to square up and release the ball.

“They certainly know,” Nurse said. “Sometimes a guy will come in that hasn’t played in forever and the guys are immediately asking, ‘Hey, we didn’t cover this guy in the scouting. Who is he? What’s he do?’ And you’re saying, ‘Shooter, you got to press up on him.’ They’re going to get some information on him.”

He’s made the adjustment, though. Nurse compares him to veteran shooter J.J. Redick in the way he’s learned to move without the ball, come off screens, find separation and get the shot off.

A natural shooter, Thomas doesn’t have a strict regimen in terms of the number of jumpers he fires up per day, like some guys do. He doesn’t count them. Instead, he “listens to [his] body” and goes by feel. Some days that means getting up more shots, some days it’s less. 

Even as word is starting to spread around the league – he can shoot the hell out of the ball – Thomas doesn’t want to be typecast. He’s shown that he can capably put the ball on the floor and pull up from mid-range when his defender closes out.

But, more than anything else, he’s tried to prove himself on the defensive end. That was the knock on him coming into the league and the big question entering his rookie campaign: could he guard his position well enough to stay on the floor? It’s something he’s worked hard on throughout the year, especially when he was out with the finger injury and couldn’t shoot.

“I’ve always had the ability to make shots, and all the footwork and flying off screens,” Thomas said. “I’ve done that stuff for a number of years. Defence, I still have a lot of room to improve and I know that and I’m going to continue to work on that side of the floor. But I think I’ve made good strides this year in that area.”

“I don’t really notice him being a big problem [on the defensive end],” said Nurse. “He plays great team defence, he plays hard, he’s not afraid to go up and challenge and pressure the ball. That’s what we’ve wanted him to do, so he’s been good. They try to go at him a bit and I haven’t really noticed it being a big problem.”

Sometimes Thomas will ask a teammate to play one-on-one after practice to help him work on his defence. He also watches plenty of film. But there’s another important part of his routine that he brings up: meditation.

“I need to be more consistent, but it’s one thing I try to do in the morning,” he said. “It helps me with my clarity and my decision-making. I feel like my interactions with people are better and how I feel about my day when I’m in tune with myself.”

How much has Thomas’ role fluctuated this season? Just take the last six games, for instance. With the team undermanned, he’s gotten a chance to play in each of them – his longest stretch of consecutive appearances since November. However, in three of those contests he logged fewer than three minutes, with all of his run coming in garbage time. In the other three, he totalled 41 points in 49 minutes, shooting a remarkable 11-for-16 from three-point range.

On Thursday, Nurse indicated that Thomas’ recent play should earn him more time. Although, it could be difficult to find him minutes with a couple players at his position nearing a return from injury. Patrick McCaw, who has been out with an illness, is expected back on Friday when Toronto hosts the Charlotte Hornets, and Norman Powell, who’s missed the last month with a broken finger, shouldn’t be far behind (he’s listed as questionable for Friday’s game).

At full strength, Thomas probably slots in as the Raptors’ 11th or 12th man, but Nurse has shown a willingness to tinker with his rotation and keep things fluid, especially when somebody is performing well enough to force his hand. Thomas’ role will likely continue to be situational. Still, as the season rolls on and even going into the playoffs, having one of the best shooters in the world sitting on your bench, ready to come in and potentially shift the momentum of a game at a moment’s notice, is a pretty nice luxury.

“I said it when I first got here – I’m open to anything,” Thomas said. “I’m just here to help this team win. Whether I’m on the bench supporting and waving a towel and cheering guys on, or I’m on the court competing and trying to knock down shots and defend. Whatever my role is that day, I’ll make sure I’m ready to contribute



https://www.tsn.ca/thomas-establishing-himself-as-raptors-secret-weapon-1.1449768
Quote 0 0
Someguy again
Quote 0 0
Mo_fusion
I can't say how much I love see this guy swapped into a game - haven't we always been looking for a lock-down no messing around pure shooter? Is this not him? But like with anything in life, there must be balance. 

Do we lose too much on the defensive end with him on the floor?
Quote 0 0
Someguy again
Mo_fusion wrote:
I can't say how much I love see this guy swapped into a game - haven't we always been looking for a lock-down no messing around pure shooter? Is this not him? But like with anything in life, there must be balance. 

Do we lose too much on the defensive end with him on the floor?
Screenshot_2020_0301_044236.png just a quote from the article LX posted and this shows his character. Now it's starting to manifest this season as he is an active body on the defensive end. Yes, i do not expect him to be a shot blocking stud on defense but there are ways for him to disrupt offenses, that are not recorded, despite his size and athletic ability.

This is where kyle lowry and vanvleet's mentoring comes in huge for him.If he can sponge up everything those two do on the defensive end, the iceman is a 100% keeper to our young core. His floor spacing presence is already ideal for Spicy P to operate on offense.
Quote 2 0
Pzabby_2nd
What if our future pace and scoring lineup is:

Lowry
Freddy
Matt
OG
Siakam

Unstoppable!
Quote 0 0
JeffB
Quote 1 0