What Versatility Can Do For the Toronto Raptors

Brad NortonCorrespondent ISeptember 5, 2009

DENVER - MAY 13:  Antoine Wright #21 of the Dallas Mavericks and Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets vie for a loose ball in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on May 13, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

So, as you know we have quite a few players who can play two or more positions. Which is what will play a key role in helping the Raptors to win some of those tough games. Allow me to break down who these players are and how their versatility will help the Raptors.


Hedo Turkoglu  

Possible Positions: power forward, shooting forward, shooting guard, point guard

Versatility: point forward

How This Will Help: Turkoglu possesses good playmaking skills and "clutch" shooting, making him one of the best players at the pick-and-roll. The pick-and-roll offense creates mismatches and confusion on defense, creating oppurtunities for the offensive team (Raptors) to get open looks.    

Whether he's the roll or the pick, he creates mismatches for himself and/or teammates. Combine that with, his ability to come through in crunch time barrying a shot under pressure and his ability to play multiple positions makes him one of the more difficult to guard players in the NBA.


Jarrett Jack

Possible Positions: shooting guard, point guard 

Versatility: complete guard

How This Will Help: Jarrett Jack's ability to create plays for his teammates and shooting ability will help the Raptors on offense, as he could fake a pass and then shoot, or vice-versa. He is also faster than the average NBA SG, which could create open shots.


Antoine Wright 

Possible Positions: shooting guard, small forward

Versatility: swingman 

How This Will Help: Wright is an oft-overlooked player on offense. He shoots the ball at a low percentage from beyond the arc (29 percent) and averages about 42 percent from two-point land.    

Also, bringing in 7.3 ppg, .5 orpg, and 1.2 apg last season. Which I know is not that good, but, it is not going to be a problem for the offensively loaded Raptors. He specializes on the defensive end, and that's where the Raptors are in need of some assistance.

Wright brought in .7 spg, .4 bpg, and 1.6 drpg last season. He can also guard the top players in the league at sf, and sg and creates some struggle for them. He also, isn't afraid to get his hands dirty on the defensive end playing a very aggresive style on and off the ball. He likes to use his speed and strength to his advantage. 


Marco Belinelli

Possible Positions: point guard, shooting guard, shooting forward

Versatility: swingman guard

How This Can Help: A very good shooter, Belinelli can bury those shots from deep, making him good for the pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop offenses. His ability to shoot and pass at a high success rate makes him more difficult to guard.

While I don't think anyone is comfortable with him currently playing at SF. He apparently is a work in progress there. He could probably speed past some guys at Sf, but, I wouldn't recommend putting him there.

Moving on, he isn't that bad on defense as he averaged just under a steal a game last season as well as, averaging 1.5 defensive rebounds. Mr. Wright and him should be x-factors for many games this season.


Demar Derozan

Possible Positions: shooting guard, shooting forward

Versatility: swingman

How This Can Help: Derozan's amazing athleticism makes him able to drive past many players for the dunk, and he's not half bad from the perimeter either. Although I imagine he'll have to improve his free throws, as he will be fouled a ton through out his career.

His size and strength as well as athleticism make him able to play both positions and play at a high level in both. On defense he is willing to play as tough as he has to, and that's all that can be said of him as he hasn't played an NBA game.


Andrea Bargnani

Possible Positions: center, power forward, shooting forward

Versatility: post winger

How This Will Help: While Andrea will probably not get time at shooting forward this season, at least it's good to know he can lay there, especially because he's seven feet (213 cm) tall.

He's not the most powerful of centers or power forwards, but his amazing range and being seven feet tall makes up for that. He is also faster than the average center and, while he is still figuring out his limitations, isn't afraid to drive aggresively to the rim instead of completely relying on his outside shooting.

His quickness and tallness make him able to guard some smaller pfs and sfs creating mismatches on defense to the Raptors' advantage.


Quincy Douby

Possible Positions: point guard, shooting guard

Versatility: complete guard

How This Can Help: If Douby sees time at PG it will be limited, but it is always good to know you have another guy who can shoot the ball as well as pass it at a good level.

He's a player who is a work in progress, but he has nothing but compliments for the Raptors, saying, "I learned more in my time under coach Triano then I did my entire time in Sacramento". 

This may be the year Quincy finds himself and becomes another x-factor that the Raptors have in their arsenal.


Sonny Weems

Possible Positions: shooting forward, shooting guard

Versatility: swingman

How This Can Help: If the Raptors are going to keep him going into this season. He will be a reserve, but if someone were to go down with injury, he'll get his time. Like Quincy, he's still sort of learning the ropes, except at a rawer level than Quincy. 

But, if this is the year he steps up to the plate, you can add another x-factor to the list. 


Now, that we know what they are capable of, it's time for them to let us see what they can do. I know, I'll be looking at Quincy Douby and Antoine Wright this season to see what they can do. How about you?