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Malik Monk, Gary Harris both address Raptors needs off bench

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Malik Monk has a unique scoring craft while Gary Harris is the all-around player with shooting upside the Raptors could use off their bench. Full conversation on free agent guards is available on our Yahoo Sports Canada YouTube.

Video Transcript

AMIT MANN: Does it happen? I'm not sure. But this next guy is someone that I would be very, very excited about because I think he would be a terrific fit. Gary Harris, 6,4", 210 pounds, 27 years old, a UFA. And there was rumors around him.

And maybe I was the one spreading the rumors, but there was rumors around him potentially being a fit for the Raptors at the trade deadline. Obviously, that did not work out. But he is a UFA now. There will certainly be interested in his services. And he definitely had a strong end to the season after a little bit of a rocky time in Orlando.

ZACH WILSON: Right. And I mean a rocky past couple of years due to injury. I remember, what year was it, it was back in his Denver days, when if you didn't have him on like your Top 10 shooting guard list, everyone regarded as just like not knowing basketball at all.

And I mean, it was pretty close. He was close to a 10th, 11th, 12th best shooting guard in the league, or at least he was getting to that range. And he's a good scorer. I think he is a guy who's going to be able to create his own shot. Obviously, not the playmaker for others that a guy like Rubio would be, but when you're just talking about taking off the load of Fred, if we can get another guy who can just create offense, it would be amazing because I think we have a couple really good quote, unquote point guards.

And I put air quotes over that because you have guys like, Scottie and Pascal, who can play point guard, but they wouldn't be necessarily labeled as point guards. So Gary Harris has a score off the bench. I think this is where, I'm not saying Gary, exactly, but this is where they need to go with this selection. It's just a guy who can create his own, shot and score, and give the bench just a real solid scoring option, really.

AMIT MANN: And defensively, too. I'll give him some credit for his screen navigation. That is an underrated quality when it comes to, how do you make an ideal defense? The Raptors have all the long rangy wings that they need, but screen navigating is typically done by guards. That's why a lot of these players exist in the NBA. We forget about that, with the Raptors, how they do their system.

But that's the benefit of having like a Fred, or a Gary, or a Gary, Gary Harris because they are able to navigate angles in ways that bigger players just can't. Because simply, they're smaller. Their wingspan is smaller. Everything's smaller, so they're a little bit quicker. They can get through small spaces a little bit faster than some of the bigger guys. And when you have that, it's a huge asset.

At 6'4", 210 pounds, like he can guard up a little bit, too, because he's really, really intense. I mentioned Gary Trent Jr. just a second ago, very similar with Gary Harris, that if a guy is 6'6", 6'7", he is going to battle in the post. Because as we know in this day and age in the NBA, it's all about finding your mismatches and so forth.

And if a team thinks that Gary Harris is a mismatch. And they try and post up a 6'7" guy, it's probably not going to go that well because he does battle quite a bit. He's got great hands. He's averaging around 1.5 steals per game-ish, over his NBA career. And offensively, the catch and shoot percentage, 42%, 38%, from three last season.

We mentioned some of the struggles. A lot of players do struggle in Orlando. That's where a lot of players go to die over the past few years. Things are turning up, which is good for them, but over the past few years, has not been great. But you can see his ability to be a primary ball handler, to get to the basket, to hit mid-range shots, to hit shots off the dribble. It's all there for Gary Harris. And he would be a really, really nice complementary piece who can work with the ball or without the ball. Big fan.

ZACH WILSON: Right, and I don't think Orlando's, necessarily, going to feel the need to bring them back because they're going young. And they're going young especially at guards with guys like, Suggs, Anthony, Fultz, even have a Wagner, who's not necessarily a guard, but he can play like a guard and create offense. And even a guy like Paulo, you're going to want to put the ball in his hands and let him create because he's a good passer.

So yeah, I don't necessarily see a fit for him there. As far as Toronto goes, yeah, I think a good scorer off the bench and, as you mentioned, the ability to guard up a position is something that Masai, and Bobby, and Nurse, and I'm sure every coach, but especially the Toronto Raptors regime, that's something they really value. And when you're shortest guy on the court is 6'4", what more Raptors E can you get than that?

AMIT MANN: Exactly. I just don't think they're going to bring in a person who's like 23 years old unless it's someone that they really, really like. Because again, they understand the importance of given the players that they're investing in reps. And if you bring in someone who's 23, 24, they are still emerging, and their NBA careers.

And that is going to mean bad things for players who are currently on the roster. So Gary Harris, I think he would be a great, great complementary piece and he would accept his role, which is very important. Malik Monk, on the other hand, is someone that will not accept his role because he's too damn good at offense. He wants more. Defensively, I don't know, but offensively, he is dynamite. I enjoyed seeing him resurrect his NBA career this past season with LA.

ZACH WILSON: Yeah, it's funny, when you were talking about Toronto's not going to bring in a guy who's 23, 24 unless they really like him. I thought that was just going to be your way to transition into Monk. Because he's a guy, yeah, he's entering his age, 24 NBA season. He's been, I don't want to say a bit of a disappointment, but as a guy who came out of college as, yeah, this guy's going to be able to score the ball. He hasn't necessarily proven that until this year with the Lakers. I mean, even if you look at his points per game, it started at six in his rookie year. And it's climbed, increasingly, every year. And he averaged almost 14 points per game last year.

You look at even his field goal percentage, it's slowly climbed each year. So he has slowly found his way in this league, which I don't think it's abnormal. I think we're seeing so many young guys enter the league just ready NBA-ready bodies, even Scottie Barnes, for example. It's not, or it used to not be normal, for a rookie, even if you were a top five pick, to enter the league and just really assert yourself and dominate the game like a guy like Scottie was able to do.

And Monk wasn't able to do that until it's coming up and last year with the Lakers. I guess there was that report with Jake Fisher that he may be willing to take a discount to stay in LA, but I don't even know like, Toronto is not competing with many teams as far as cap space. It's just going to be, who does a guy want to go to? Because I think there's only like five teams with cap space.

AMIT MANN: And I would they want to go somewhere else. That's where I kind of end this, is that I think he would desire to be in a different market. And if he decides to be a Toronto Raptor, that'd be really cool. I mean, we know that the Raptors development system has been emerging over the years.

And if the Raptors are taking a chance on you, that means that they really see something. Offensively, I mean, the Lakers were at 115 offensive rating when he was on the court, 105 when he was off of it. So he adds a lot there. He's a bucket getter. He's a high flyer. He was running a lot of inverted pick and rolls with LeBron James. And that was actually working. In inventive pick and rolls, gets what, the Raptors like doing that, too.

That is something that they like to do with Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam. And you could run a little bit of that with Malik Monk. And that would be an interesting thing to see. I just don't see, I have trouble seeing him being a fit, defensively. And because I mean, the reason why, at 24 years old, he was kind of falling out of the league. I mean, why does that happen? It's because, usually, teams don't like your habits.

That's like a player like Nick Young sometimes, gets fizzled out. Other players, with the offensive talent, but not exactly the basketball pedigree where you feel like they're going to be a huge part of your team when you want to win a championship. Malik Monk has to probably make a little switch there with some of his mentality and how he approaches the game.

But offensively, he is dynamite, twitchy guard, shaken, bacon, beating bigs, getting to the basket, high flying, finishing through contact, very crafty around the basket, very, very talented scorer. Another person, I keep on, I feel like we keep on saying people that we don't think are going to be Raptors, but I don't think he'll be a Raptor. I just don't see if that's going to work out but, yeah.

ZACH WILSON: I mean, at the end.

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