Toronto Raptors Net Much-Needed Spark in Sebastian Telfair

Raju Byfield@@raptorcityAnalyst IIIFebruary 21, 2013

Former high school superstar Sebastian Telfair has been acquired by the Toronto Raptors.
Former high school superstar Sebastian Telfair has been acquired by the Toronto Raptors.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With John Lucas looking like he excels more off of the ball than with the ball in his hands, the Toronto Raptors needed to find a competent backup for Kyle Lowry.

They discussed several different deals with teams around the NBA but settled on former high school superstar Sebastian Telfair, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN. He's a player with a lot of talent who never really got it going in the NBA despite being given 30 minutes a game in his "best" season, which saw him record 9.6 points and 5.6 assists for the Timberwolves.

The Raptors acquired Telfair for a very low cost in Hamed Haddadi and a protected second-round pick (which will be the lower of the Kings or the Raptors picks in the 2014 draft).

Telfair has proven that he can score in the NBA, hit the triple and dish out assists, with his career highs coming in at 30 points, six threes and 13 assists spread out across his nine-year NBA career.

Unfortunately, however, Telfair comes to the Raptors shooting below the 40-percent mark for his career, something that may help him wear out his welcome in Toronto rather quickly despite his explosive and sometimes exciting game.

Is Telfair a good fit for the Raptors?

He is in the respect that he fills a need for a backup point guard and an offensive spark off the bench.

With that said, his horrendous field-goal percentage and questionable shot selection will have to be curtailed for Telfair to permanently take over the backup point guard position from John Lucas.

Percentages aside, Telfair is exactly the kind of potential playmaker and scorer that Toronto needed to lead the second unit. He will not put up gaudy Jose Calderon backup numbers, but he can push the pace and drive and dish at an above-average level.

It may be too late to hope that Telfair actually reaches his potential in the NBA, but the fact of the matter is that he has just reached his prime at age 27, and he may indeed find his niche playing with a nice collection of wings in Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross and Alan Anderson.

Any way you slice it, Sebastian Telfair is a big upgrade on John Lucas, whether or not the numbers support it.