The Toronto Raptors will look to have a bounceback year after falling to 12th in the East and missing the playoffs. Although, the Raptors may not be done. Last year, they didn’t get the advantage of playing at home like every other team did. The Raptors played in Tampa. Here is The Raptors season preview:
Toronto is now without their on-court leader from previous years, and the face of the franchise for many years, Kyle Lowry. Can they do better?
With a lot of talent and upside, Achiuwa will look to learn from guys like Pascal Siakam and Chris Boucher. The former first-round pick only played 12 minutes per game last year.
Bonga provides some flexibility, as a player that can handle the ball and play both Small Forward and Point Guard.
Dragic will provide some veteran presence off the bench. Something that will be needed on one of the youngest rosters in the NBA.
Dekker has not really panned out to be a good player anywhere he has gone. Last year, he averaged 6 points, 3 rebounds as a Power Forward that years ago had some upside.
Now only four players from the 2019 NBA Championship roster remain, Lowry has been the longest-tenured Raptor until now. He has played 9 seasons in Toronto, having his best seasons.
With no true center on the roster, the loss of Baynes hurts on the depth chart. Though Baynes was not the player that the Raptors were hoping they would get. He was able to come in and play good defense against the bigger centers as well as stretch the floor.
Involved in the Norman Powell trade, Rodney Hood has proven to be an elite shooter in the league, someone who can play both SG and SF. As well as a fan favorite guy wherever he goes.
Starting Lineup: Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Khem Birch
With no other center on the roster, Birch seems likely to move into the starting rotation. It also seems likely that with Kyle Lowry gone, VanVleet will shift to the Point, with GTJ at the Shooting Guard.
Bench: Chris Boucher, Stanley Johnson, Precious Achiuwa, Goran Dragic, Malachi Flynn, Sam Dekker, Isaac Bongo, Yuta Watanabe, Freddie Gillespie, Scottie Barnes, David Johnson, Dalano Banton.
There is a lot of depth on this bench that could be used in many ways by the Raptors. Dragic could be used as a starter but seems too old and injury-prone, that it wouldn’t be worth the risk. Achiuwa has a lot of talent and could mold into a Pascal Siakam, or even a Boucher type player
From the outside looking in, it does not seem like the Toronto Raptors made an upgrade to get back into the playoffs. Although Raptors fans will enjoy a full year of Gary Trent Jr. the Toronto Raptors seem to be headed more towards the ending part of a rebuild. Though, the Raptors do have a young squad ready to make some poise in the Eastern Conference.
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