In recent weeks, the FIBA World Cup has captured the attention of basketball fans worldwide. Players such as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dennis Schroder of the Toronto Raptors, and Luka Doncic are putting in great effort to return to their home nations with championship titles.
Although the majority of spectators enjoy the spectacle of these matches, organizations such as the Raptors will be observing this competition with an eye on assessing potential players. It's possible that someone in these ranks is the next great Raptors player, showcasing their abilities to a global audience.
The Raptors may be able to discover a future star among these ranks thanks to Toronto's willingness to recruit players from outside leagues and add talent from unique players, which sets them apart from most other teams. Trade targets might be acquired, and the end of the bench may be strengthened.
These three players have shown their mettle at the World Cup, and the Raptors should consider them impact players who can immediately improve the team's rotation. Our NBA Expert Picks reckons the Raptors signed one of the best players, they would be very proactive.
#3. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, (Canada)
For quite some time, Alexander-Walker has been a target for free agency or potential trades involving the Raptors, and Toronto did miss out on signing him during the offseason. He is by no means committed to the Minnesota Timberwolves' long-term ambitions, even though he signed a two-year contract with them.
Alexander, a native of Canada, has the potential to contribute significantly to Toronto's rotation. In World Cup action, he has hit 38.5% from 3-point range for Canada, despite playing in a high volume and drawing considerable attention from opposition defenders. Darko Rajakovic may be even more lethal in his offensive.
If the Wolves want to add someone at the trade deadline, they may have to sell some of their bench players. Alexander-Walker might have a good market if he can replicate the 3-point shooting he did when playing for Canada in the NBA.
If Masai Ujiri made a trade for Alexander-Walker, he would not only return to his native Raptors, but he would also develop into a fantastic asset to a bench that is still very much in its infancy. There is still a need for shooting, and the long-limbed NAW may be a good, low-cost option.
#2. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, (Jordan)
It's not uncommon for NBA players to receive another contract offer after making significant impressions abroad; Hollis-Jefferson could be the next to do so. With regard to NBA-caliber players, the former Raptors power forward has been a man on a mission for a Jordan squad severely devoid of skill.
In his five World Cup appearances, Hollis-Jefferson averaged 23.0 points per game, including a 39-point performance against Jordan. RHJ would be wise to take advantage of this series of exhibits to showcase all of the additional elements he has added to his style of play. He is currently performing in Puerto Rico.
The Raptors have an excessive number of power forwards on their roster, and while Hollis-Jefferson was a personal favourite of the recently fired Nick Nurse, they could surely do much worse than RHJ if they're looking for players that prioritize defense to fill the end of the bench.
Hollis-Jefferson is a far better shooter and half-court offensive creator now than he was before the Raptors cut him loose, suggesting that he has improved. He may have played so brilliantly that an NBA team will take a risk on him despite his recent dirty behaviour.
#1. Bogdan Bogdanovic, (Serbia)
Bogdanovic could have arrived in Toronto by now if Pascal Siakam's team, the Raptors, were more eager to finalize a trade with the Atlanta Hawks. Getting Bogdanovic would have easily lessened the impact, even though dealing Siakam might have injured this team.
In addition to demonstrating his abilities as a reliable shooter and all-around scorer to the rest of the league over the past several years, Bogdanovic has also performed admirably for his country's national team. Heat striker Nikola Jovic and Bogdanovic have taken the lead for the team since Nikola Jokic has been sidelined.
Bogdanovic has put up an average of 18.0 points per game, more than offsetting his normally shaky field goal percentage with a lot of big shots made. It's easy to see how Bogdanovic's acquisition and subsequent prime bench spot could enhance the team's overall attacking production.
Even though Bogdanovic is nearing the conclusion of his playing career, his performance with Serbia demonstrates that, when called upon, he still has the ability to take the attacking lead. Even if they had to torch one of their best players to acquire a few of these players, the Raptors need more players like this.