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Toronto Raptors finding valuable minutes for young players as challenging season comes to an end

Photo credit: @Raptors on Twitter

The Toronto Raptors have just one final game remaining on their schedule for the 2020-2021 season, and the end can’t come soon enough. Their playoff hopes faded away a long time ago and their odds for the upcoming NBA Draft have already been sealed as well.

Finding themselves in the lottery is unfamiliar territory, but there is no shortage of excuses as to why this year has been one of the most challenging seasons ever for the Raptors. Whether it’s been the exhausting amount of injuries to their star players, being forced to play away from their home of Toronto in Tampa Bay, or the spread of COVID-19 among their players and coaching staff, the Raptors have gone through it all this season.

Developing the youngins

These last few games haven’t meant much, but they have been important for the development of many young players on the roster who are still looking to earn their spot on the team for the years to come.

Last night Malachi Flynn and Jalen Harris both recorded career highs during the Raptors’ narrow loss to the Dallas Mavericks 114-110.

Just the night before, Stanley Johnson also recorded his career-high in scoring with 35 points during a loss against the Chicago Bulls. Oddly enough, Toronto has set a new NBA record this season as there have now been ten different players to score 30 or more for the Raptors.

The Raptors will play their final game of the season against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night. It will be the last opportunity for young players like Flynn, Harris, and Johnson to get some much-needed reps in with most of the Raptors’ star players likely to sit out the final contest.

While we are all ready to bid farewell to this horrid season, a few of the young guys on the roster are proving that the future is something to look forward to.

One thing that’s worth getting excited about is the caliber of players the Raptors could be getting in the upcoming draft.

Toronto selected Flynn and Harris with the 29th and 59th selections in last year’s draft, respectively. They are both showing flashes of their potential in this last stretch of the season. With much earlier first and second-round picks in this year’s draft (likely falling within the top ten selections of both rounds), the Raptors will have a much better selection of quality players to choose from than prior years.

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