The last game of a painful and somewhat meaningless (from a win/loss perspective) 2011-2012 season is a distant memory, with Ben Uzoh’s triple-double lifting the Raptors over the Nets now nearly half a year in the rear view mirror. The highly anticipated and much more meaningful 2012-2013 season unofficially gets underway on Monday with a pre-season opener against Spain’s Real Madrid.
Okay, so the opening game of a supposedly more meaningful season is actually meaningless. But you get the point.
We’re all pretty stoked to get this 18th season in Raptors history tipped off, but before we do, let’s look back on the 2012 off-season, and how we got to this present moment of excitement.
Wojnarowski can’t confirm the terms of the contract, but what I can confirm is that this signing is further evidence of the culture change on this team since Dwane Casey came on board. I refer to McGuire as a “utility player” in reference to the baseball description of an end-of-the-bench type of guy who can’t hit much but can effectively play multiple positions in the field. He’s fairly worthless on the offensive end and therefore probably won’t see a lot of playing time when the roster is healthy, but his true value lies in situational substitutions where Casey needs somebody on the floor who can rebound well for his size and guard the opposing team’s best scorer at the end of the quarter. He’s a long, tenacious defender who has been used in key situations to stop opposition guards and forwards at all four positions.
If that isn’t enough to elicit more than a shoulder shrug from this news, he might fill the Reggie Evans role of resident cheap shot artist — although McGuire appears to be more of the “random backhand to the face” type instead of the “marblebag assault” type.
As unimpressive as his offensive stats look (his career shooting percentages are under 42 percent overall and under 20 percent from beyond the arc), McGuire has been reportedly well-liked by coaches and fans wherever he’s played. Unfortunately, his offensive deficiencies mean he’s probably doomed to never be more than a role player at this level. Still, he might be the kind of player who secures a couple of victories over the course of a season by playing lockdown D against the opposing team’s “closer” in clutch situations. I see a lot more value in a player like that at the end of the bench than I see in John Lucas III, but I’ll elaborate on that when we get to Lucas’ player profile.