If Only the Toronto Raptors Could Bring Back Donyell Marshall...

If the Toronto Raptors could bring back one former player in their prime, it would have to be Donyell Marshall right?

I was there when it happened.

He hit one.  Then two.  Then three.  Then four, each one splashing through the net, barely touching the twine.

By night's end his team had a decisive 128 to 110 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, and he, Donyell Marshall, had tied the NBA-record for most three-pointers made in a game with 12.


It was a thing of beauty, and a near lone highlight in a season which saw his Raptors win only 33 games.

Today marks the last of SB Nation's off-season theme days, "Bring Back a Player" being the topic at hand and my choice was yes, Mr. Marshall.

Vince Carter, Chris Bosh, Tracy McGrady, Mo Pete, yes, all would have been obvious options as players who would be great to have as part of next year's Raptors' club.  After all, the idea of today's theme was to bring back a player in his prime to add to your current roster, taking things like position, chemistry, and fit into consideration.

But I wanted to go in a slightly different direction here, and look at a player whose skill-set would be a nice fit with the current group, a player that wasn't a star, but who could really make a difference in the team's win column.

Hence my choice of Marshall, a player who shot over 40 per cent from long-range during his Raptors' tenure, and who sported a PER of just under 20!  Unlike Toronto's past attempts at pairing a stretch 4 with their big men (BARGS!), Marshall would be give guys like Valanciunas and Amir Johnson that much more room to operate down low, and even allow Toronto's current wings like Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan opportunities in the post, while he dragged defenders out to the perimeter.  And unlike Bargnani, Marshall could actually rebound the basketball, so wouldn't leave Val and Johnson fending for themselves on the glass.

Marshall blocked shots, and while not the most athletic defender during his era, was solid positionally, something that would be a good fit in Dwane Casey's system.  His offensive game could even allow the Raptors to play big with Marshall at the 3, Rudy Gay at the 2, Amir Johnson at the 4, and Valanciunas at the 5 in stretches, Gay and Johnson's athleticism helping to cover for Marshall's lack of "quicks."

It's hard to see a downside to such an addition, particularly since one of the final playoff spots in the East looks ripe for the taking, and Marshall could be the piece that puts the club over the top in that regard.

Although...

...I guess if the club is hell-bent on heading for Wiggins next year, maybe I should be advocating the return of another 3-point shooting big man?

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