With the regular season winding down, the Toronto Raptors received a major boost on Apr. 2 in the form of Will Barton’s potential return to the lineup.
Barton, who has been managing a left ankle sprain, is listed as probable for the Raptors’ game against the Charlotte Hornets. The veteran wing has been out for Toronto’s last two games after leaving their Mar. 26 matchup against the Washington Wizards.
Fortunately for the Raptors, they’re not very reliant on Barton, who they signed to a contract on Feb. 28.
Having begun the season with the Wizards, Barton has been having an off season, averaging just 6.5 points per game on 37.0 percent shooting from the field this season. Despite wanting to move on from Washington in order to have a more consistent role and find his rhythm, his time with Toronto hasn’t been much better.
In fact, it’s been worse, with Barton averaging just 12.2 minutes per game with the Raptors. Barton, a skilled playmaker capable of scoring from all three levels, creating for himself, and facilitating for others, played 19.6 minutes per game with Washington.
Unfortunately, when Barton signed on with the Wizards, he may have underestimated the amount of on-ball playmakers that the Raptors have. However, with Toronto being one of the more injury-prone teams in the league and having a rather unreliable bench, Barton will get his opportunities.
Especially as he played at least 10 minutes in the nine games prior to the Raptors’ Mar. 26 victory over the Wizards.
A number that he could hit against the Hornets as they battle to reach the playoffs, as Charlotte will be missing LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, and Cody Martin.
In addition, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Dennis Smith Jr. will be questionable, while veteran forward Gordon Hayward will be doubtful.
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