John Lucas was signed in the off season of 2012 by the Toronto Raptors to a two year contract, with the expectations of being a viable back up point guard that can assist the team when ex Raptor Jose Calderon and now starting point Kyle Lowry are in need of rest or having lack luster performances. Now Lucas has shown at times, especially after the departure of Jose Calderon that he is more than able to handle the duties of being a reliable back up point guard that has kept the Raptors in many games and provided a spark for other key Raptor players. However, it is his shoot first mentality, that can end up hurting the teams bench play.
Salary is definitely not a concern for the Raptors when it comes to Lucas, it his ability and skills to help the team with valuable and reliable scoring and distribution of the ball from off the bench. Lucas has always been a shoot first type of player, which does hinder questions about his ability to distribute the ball and create better shots for players around him. Raptor fans has seen glimpses of his ability to score more recently, however, he has had games where he has had lack luster shooting performances and continued to throw up shots, in which some cases he could have found a better shot for another Raptor. Now, the Raps do not have many options of scoring from the bench other than Lucas and Anderson, so and even further discussion might be, how will the bench situation be addressed in the summer?
Lucas hasn't done a terrible job coming off the bench, however, as the Raptors continue to add pieces to make them a playoff contender, and hopefully address the bench situation in the summer, I find highly unlikely that Lucas will fit into the system and direction of the team next season.
Look for the Raptors to add a more reliable veteran that can distribute the ball better, create better shots for other bench players and has the ability to score. The Raptors can address this via trade and package Lucas with another player, since he is still under contract or via the free agent market depending on what other pieces they add during the off season. Depending on the pieces added in the off season, it will most likely determine the future of John Lucas with the Raptors.