Yesterday we were alerted about the news that the Raptors and veteran point guard Anthony Carter were set to part ways over the next week or so. Today, head coach Dwane Casey addressed the issue.
While he addressed the fact that the Raptors will be looking at younger players, one of the players he mentioned by name was Gary Forbes, stating that although he’s not a point guard, the team “needs to get a look at him there.”
This is good news both for Forbes himself and for the large following of Raptors fans that want to see as much of a youth movement as possible over the second half of the season.
Forbes was actually the pre-season pickup I was most excited about (apologies to Aaron Gray, who has proven to be the best pickup) because I though his instant offence and explosive type of play could be an intriguing component of the Raptors’ bench over the next couple of seasons.
Other than a four or five game stretch in January (where he logged some minutes at the point), Forbes hasn’t been given much of a chance to show what he can do this season. Though in fairness to the coaching staff, Gary hasn’t exactly opened our eyes when he has played, other than maybe one or two performances.
He’s appeared in 24 games this season, posting averages of 3.3 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.9 turnovers in just under nine minutes per game. Hopefully Casey’s admission that the Raptors will take a better look at Forbes as the season winds down means we will see him get an opportunity with some extended minutes here and there. Though don’t expect a Forbes sighting tonight, as Casey revealed the 27-year-old is questionable after an emergency dental procedure.
The other interesting question Casey’s comments about “younger players” raises is to what extent does that apply? For example, are the Raptors so desperate and keen to experiment with their younger players that they would be willing to part with Jose Calderon at the trade deadline and run with Jerryd Bayless at the point for the rest of the season? Will they hold a guy like Andrea Bargnani out of some games to get a better look at Ed Davis and Amir Johnson?
These questions will begin to be answered at the deadline next week, and I’m sure all Raptors fans are anxious to find out those answers. Don’t get me wrong, I’d obviously rather root for a perennially contending Raptors team or one that’s at least closer to contention, but I really do find some of the underlying story lines in a rebuilding season interesting to follow.
Scott will have your Raptors/Rockets game thread up before the tip and I’ll have my six thoughts on the game post up later tonight or early Thursday morning. We’ll talk then.