Every freight train needs a caboose. Every M. Night Shyamalan film needs a twist ending. Every NBA team needs its share of towel wavers and cheerleaders at the end of the bench.
It's just how this crazy world of ours operates.
Not everyone on the Raptors was fortunate enough to bask in the glow of Dwane Casey's ever-so-popular rotation. The "Forgotten Souls," as I've so eloquently dubbed them, got left out in the cold to fend for whatever scraps and minutes they could find on the pine.
They sure were a fun little bunch, though.
Nogueira: 6 games, 3.8 minutes, 1.0 points, 25.0 FG%, 1.8 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 turnovers, 5.2 PER
Caboclo: 8 games, 2.9 minutes, 1.3 points, 33.3 FG%, 0.3 rebounds, 0.1 blocks, 0.5 turnovers, -1.8 PER
Stiemsma: 17 games, 3.9 minutes, 0.8 points, 75.0 FG%, 0.9 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.1 steals, 0.4 turnovers, 7.8 PER
Fields: 26 games, 8.3 minutes, 1.8 points, 48.8 FG%, 1.0 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.3 turnovers, 10.8 PER
Hayes: 29 games, 8.8 minutes, 1.7 points, 47.8 FG%, 1.8 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.1 blocks, 0.3 turnovers, 10.4 PER
Best Game (Statistically)
Nogueira: Jan. 4 at Phoenix (5 minutes, 4 points, 1-of-1 from the field, 2-of-2 from the free throw line, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, +7)
Caboclo: Nov. 21 vs. Milwaukee (12 minutes, 8 points, 3-of-6 from the field, 2-of-3 from three-point range, 1 rebound, 1 block)
Stiemsma: Nov. 4 vs. Oklahoma City (12 minutes, 4 points, 2-of-2 from the field, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, +10)
Fields: Dec. 15 vs. Orlando (22 minutes, 8 points, 3-of-6 from the field, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal)
Hayes: Nov. 11 at Cleveland (15 minutes, 3 points, 1-of-1 from the field, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, +16)
All five players rarely played. It was hard enough finding a moment of "excellence" through a field of DNP's. I'll cut them some slack on this one.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Raw. Bloody raw.
+ That wingspan, bro.
- "Two years away from being two years away," right?
+ *shoulder shrug*
- A third-string center on a roster where the first-string center has a fluctuating role... because he's a center.
+ His contract being over, with all due respect.
- Was never able to bounce back from a slew of injuries.
+ Consummate professional. Any locker room would be happy to have him.
- Did his best when given an opportunity, but being a 6'6" backup center is not ideal.
Roles Next Season
Nogueira and Caboclo will need more seasoning down in the D-League. The Raptors landing its own affiliate is a dream scenario, although that may take another few years to cement. Being sent down and not playing doesn't help anyone, so the sooner that all comes to fruition, the better. We'll get the occasional feel-good moment where they see the floor and score a garbage bucket or two, but that's about it.
Fields, Stiemsma and Hayes are gone. Done deal. The money in their expiring deals will be put to better use elsewhere.
A GIF To Sum It All Up
I'm shocked I went into this much detail.
*All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com*