Breaking News: Toronto Raptors Confirm Three Roster Players Who Will Return Next Season

Three players on the fringe of the Raptors squad that should be back next season
The youthful nucleus of the Toronto Raptors will return for the upcoming campaign. After missing the last 20 games due to a hand fracture, Scottie Barnes will return in good condition. Re-signed Immanuel Quickley will be joining Gradey Dick and RJ Barrett. It appears very likely that Jakob Poeltl will be kept to start at center.

The questions then start to come in. Which players will return that are not in the core? Which players will leave the team—either through a trade or by entering free agency?

Earlier this week, we talked about the players who appear to be departing for good, but what about the ones that are sticking around? Let’s focus on the fringes of the roster for now, and we can talk about the core later.

Which Raptors bench players should be back for the upcoming campaign? Let’s examine three names and talk about why we should expect them to return in the upcoming season.

Mouhamadou Gueye, No. 3
We’ll begin with a name that very few basketball fans are even familiar with, much less know how to pronounce. Born in New York, Mouhamadou Gueye played in the G League for the past two seasons after being undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft. He signed a 10-day contract with the Raptors in February, and the team extended an offer for a two-way deal.


Gueye, who is 6’9″ and has a lengthy wingspan, is a tremendous athlete who displayed shot-blocking ability reminiscent of Chris Boucher. With only 11 minutes played per game, Gueye averaged 1.6 blocks every game, or 5.4 blocks every 36 minutes. If he had continued to play more minutes, his block percentage of 13.2 percent would have ranked first in the league.

Given his advanced age of 25 and severely restricted offensive capabilities, Gueye still has to establish his value as a full-time player. But with a two-way contract, he can keep getting more playing time in the G League and work his way up to a potential spot in the rotation later in the next campaign.

Jordan Nwora is number two.
Jordan Nwora, like he was a year prior in the four-team Kevin Durant transaction that sent Jae Crowder to Milwaukee, was effectively a salary-matching throw-in to the Pascal Siakam trade. In order to stay in the NBA, the 6’8″ forward has tried to establish himself as a rebounding and shooting specialist.

No one is sleeping on the next All-Star forward by passing Nwora around like a hot potato, despite the uneven outcomes thus far. Compared to his 45.2 percent 3-point shooting percentage as a rookie, Nwora’s season total of merely 33.6 percent is quite low for a shooting specialist.

Nwora isn’t worth keeping at all if the Raptors really need to use his roster spot. Nonetheless, during the course of his four-year career, he has slowly improved his finishing inside the arc, possesses fast hands to produce steals, and is undoubtedly a strong rebounder for his stature and position. Although the shooting is inconsistent, the Raptors or another club would have a highly important role player on their hands if it were to stabilize at 38 percent or higher.

The likelihood that Nwora will resign for the minimum wage or something similar means that keeping him on staff won’t have much of an influence. He might not see regular playing time unless the club experiences more injuries (which is why he saw so much action this season), but if he can get back on track with his shooting, he should have no trouble earning a spot in the starting lineup. With its substantial potential and no danger, Nwora is an obvious pick to stick around.

Markquis Nowell, No. 1
The last name on our list is probably the most unexpected for various reasons. First of all, in an NBA basketball era where little players are annihilated on defense, Markquis Nowell is a 5’8″ guard. Second, during his debut season, he only contributed four minutes to the Toronto Raptors’ roster. Ultimately, Nowell isn’t even with the team anymore; they dropped him in order to sign Mouhamadou Gueye during the season, and he joined the Raptors 905 on a conventional G League contract.


Nevertheless, Nowell contributed two steals, two assists, and two rebounds in his four minutes on the court. In the G League, he averaged 15.1 points, 10.1 assists, and 2.0 steals in far more extensive play. He is incredibly productive every time he sets foot on a basketball court. He sees the court and the passing possibilities that open up when he physically pushes the ball and himself around the perimeter and into the defense’s teeth.

Being a player who is shorter than the opposition means that you have to be both competent and dedicated, and Nowell possesses both of those qualities. Despite the inevitable obstacles and disdain directed towards someone of his caliber, he excelled in college and managed to make it onto an NBA court despite being several inches shorter than any other player in the league.

The Raptors ought to give Nowell another chance to prove he deserves to play in the NBA, even though he still has some work to do. He is exceptionally skilled and gifted, and they don’t have enough depth at point guard right now. With Jontay Porter out of the league, a two-way contract slot opened up, and the Raptors should give Nowell a shot to see what he can do for them next season.

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