Entering the 2021 NBA offseason, this could serve as one of the most important offseason’s in recent years for the Toronto Raptors. With the team no longer in title contention and the looming possibility of moving on from the Kyle Lowry era growing by the minute, this Raptors offseason will be pivotal in deciding what the next few years may entail.
With a determined team, the Raptors will not be sitting around this offseason watching. Instead, they’ll likely be pushing the pace and making moves to place themselves back into the win column. They still have several players with star potential that have demonstrated they have what it takes to lead their team.
By building a roster around cornerstone pieces already established for Toronto in Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby, the Raptors will be able to move forward into the next chapter of the organization’s history and find their new team identity.
This past season was full of trials and tribulations that resulted in Toronto’s horrendous 27-45 record. With these issues on and off the court, it became clear there were some glaring holes within the Raptors organization that desperately need to be fixed if the team has any hopes of returning to the playoffs in the 2021-22 season.
The Toronto Raptors must fix these 3 big holes.
1. The uneven frontcourt rotation.
It’s no secret that the Raptors struggled to find valuable minutes from the center position this season. With the failed Aron Baynes experiment and lack of center depth, the Raptors were beaten up down low and dominated on the glass on a nightly basis.
While the emergence of Chris Boucher was a bright spot that gives Toronto hope for the future, as was the late acquisition Khem Birch from Orlando, the Raptors still had issues when it came to production from their big men.
In this free agency class, while they may not be stars, there are several serviceable big men that could fit perfectly into the Raptors system and make an immediate impact on the court.
Unrestricted free-agents such as Cody Zeller or Nerlens Noel would be major pick-ups for the squad, as they would add legitimate size, rim protection, and rebounding skills without breaking the bank.
The Toronto Raptors have plenty of ways to improve.
With highly touted prospects such as Evan Mobley, Alperen Sengun, and Kai Jones, all on the board in this year’s draft, the Raptors could find the solution to their center woes through the draft given their seventh-best lottery odds. This organization has an incredible track record of developing talent, and that could be their best move long-term to ending their center woes.
By signing a true center, the Raptors would have an improved chance at staying in close games and preventing offensive rebounds given up throughout the course of the game, issues that plagued this team all season in 2020-21.
A spike in production could also come for Siakam, who would not have to spend nearly as much time playing the 5 and could keep his focus on spacing the floor and cutting to the rim at his natural position of power forward.
The front office will have several opportunities to fix this glaring hole in their game-plan in the offseason. Whether it comes from free agency, the NBA draft, or even a potential trade, to get back to their winning ways, this needs to be priority number one.