A plethora of options are now open for Raptors coach Dwane Casey with the impending return of Andrea Bargnani.

After missing 26 games with elbow and wrist woes, Bargnani should be back for Wednesday’s home game with the Boston Celtics, presenting his coach with another interesting piece to plug into a game.

But whatever Casey does night to night — use Bargnani as prototypical stretch four who extends defences, put him on the block defensively to battle big centres — the anchor will always be the versatile and unsung Amir Johnson.

It could be Johnson and Bargnani, it could be Johnson and Jonas Valanciunas, it could be Bargnani and Rudy Gay; except for the 10 or 12 minutes a night when Johnson has to take a breather, he’s going to the constant.

“He’s the vet we have in there that everything goes around; the numbers say it, my eyes see it,” Casey said Tuesday. “Whether it’s JV in the middle or Andrea and Amir, he’s that important to our defensive focus. He’s the anchor for everybody back there.