While we've yet to get the official word from the Toronto Raptors, the next best thing, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, reported yesterday that the team is working on a one or two-year deal with free agent forward Dominic McGuire.
McGuire, a 6-9 forward who played with the Golden State Warriors for the bulk of last season, will round out the team's roster as the 15th man if indeed this signing becomes official as is expected.
That doesn't mean he's going to be the 15th man in the rotation though, and we thought we'd do a little Monday breakdown of yet another player who fits the club's increased emphasis on defence, toughness, athleticism and versatility.
For starters, McGuire was the 47th overall pick out of Fresno State, and was selected by the Washington Wizards in the 2007 NBA draft. He averaged just under 14 points a game in his final NCAA season, but did a little bit of everything, averaging a shade below the 10 rebound a game mark, dishing out 3.3 assists a game, and blocking a ridiculous 3.6 shots a match. While never a great shooter, his combination of size and athleticism made him a very intriguing prospect, one that Draftexpress comopared to Danny Granger in terms of his potential upside!
With the Wizards, McGuire played in 70 of the team's 82 matches in his first season, not bad for a rookie, but he saw under 10 minutes of action a game, finishing with averages of 1.3 points and 1.2 rebounds.
However his defensive skills got him more playing time in year two with the Wiz, and his playing time jumped to over 26 minutes a match. His scoring was still hardly anything to write home about, but he blocked nearly a shot a game that season and posted some solid advanced stats on the defensive end of the ball.
McGuire didn't finish a third season in Washington though and ended up in Sacramento to finish the 2009-10 season where he barely saw action.
The last two years were composed of stops in Charlotte, and Golden Sate with the aforementioned Warriors, and now he's looking to find a home in Toronto.
Will he find one?
That's a big question considering he'll be fighting with the bulk of the roster for playing time. As noted, he's got the size to play the 3 however much like another former Raptor, Julian Wright, his offensive game limits him a bit in that capacity. And while he's a ferocious rebounder and shot-blocker for his size, his slight frame can leave him overwhelmed in the post playing the 4.
In other words, he'll likely be fighting for playing time with everyone from Landry Fields to Ed Davis.
But I'm not so sure what position McGuire plays really matters.
Head Coach Dwane Casey has repeatedly talked about the fact that "motor" is a basketball skill and wanting more players who play with a high motor.
McGuire definitely fits that mold.
Even if the bulk of his playing time is in practice, McGuire is going to be one of these players that gets after it and makes everyone around him work that much harder. He's a perfect fit with the new culture that Casey is trying to instill, and you can bet he'll be inserted into action at times this year when the starters aren't giving it their all, or if Casey wants to change the look and feel of the game.
McGuire's career PER of 9.9 is well below league-average, but with PER being so reliant on offence, that's really no surprise. His advanced defensive metrics are quite solid and the real eye-opener is that McGuire posted the third-highest Wins Produced mark on the Warriors last season, contributing 4.37 victories. This placed him behind only Brandon Rush and Dorell Wright and ahead of players like David Lee and Steph Curry.
Metrics aside though, this is another player who continues the club's recent trend of adding versatile, hard-nosed, defensive minded players, many of whom have top-shelf athletic abilities as well. It's also an interesting September addition, showing that the Dino staff is still moulding their line-up for next season, seeking out potential upgrades. (Not to mention ones that share an agent with Jose Calderon.)
Perhaps he's no Danny Granger, but a potential McGuire signing would be another plus for this club, and perhaps when we look back at the 2012-13 season, a true unsung addition.