Toronto Raptors: Team Must Find Ways to Get Steve Novak Integrated Into Offense

By Ryan Heckman
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of the offseason, I said that the Toronto Raptors could be in some serious trouble if they did not make some moves to help them move forward toward a brighter future. New general manager Masai Ujiri had plenty of work cut out for him, but so far he has not disappointed.

One of his biggest obstacles to overcome was the issue of getting Andrea Bargnani and his ridiculous contract out of Toronto. It was widely thought that there wouldn’t be many suitors, if any, that would be able to take on that kind of money.

Alas, the New York Knicks came calling.

In a deal that involved Bargnani heading to the Knicks, the Raptors received Steve Novak, Marcus Camby and Quentin Richardson back in the deal. Camby is now with the Houston Rockets, Richardson is rumored to be moved at some point but Novak remains with the team.

The seven year NBA veteran’s career averages would not blow you away, but Novak brings one big asset to the team: consistency from beyond the arc. Not even Bargnani could give them a consistent three ball as of late, so this is huge.

If the Raptors want to compete at the highest level possible this year, they have got to find a way to make sure Novak gets his touches. He obviously isn’t going to be one to create his own shot or even create for others, but if Toronto can get him the ball in the right spot he will knock it down consistently.

The former Marquette product has a career three-point percentage of 43.3 percent. That has always been his forte, and the Knicks knew how to get him the ball at crucial moments at times last year. Other times, though, he seemed to vanish and never got a chance to shoot the ball when they needed points the most.

Novak will score the basketball, plain and simple. He could even average double digits in scoring if Toronto used him correctly. All he needs is a few open looks every night and he’ll knock his shots down. The Raptors would be wise to not only keep him on board, but get him the ball consistently in 2013.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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