The Toronto Raptors finally concluded their Media Day festivities, giving fans the first look at what promised to be a new era of basketball led by players like Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet in the wake of Kyle Lowry’s departure.
Toronto might be one of the hardest teams to project leading into 2021. While they finished near the bottom of the Eastern Conference and just lost the best player in franchise history, this team is full of holdovers from their championship team, and they should all continue to improve.
The Raptors will return to action against the Philadelphia 76ers in a few days, and they will open the regular season against Washington on October 20 in their home opener. While we won’t find out much about this team beyond some of the platitudes thrown out in press availability until then, the last few days were still revealing.
Fans should be pleased with these four takeaways from Toronto’s Media Day, as they could be a very promising indicator of what we can expect when they make their triumphant return to the floor.
4 things we learned from Toronto Raptors Media Day
1. Pascal Siakam is in a good place and ready to lead.
Siakam went through a very challenging in the last year and change. In addition to his play starting to slide backward in and out of the Disney Bubble, Siakam was mentioned in trade rumors all offseason long amid concerns that Toronto was going to detonate and look to rebuild completely.
Based on what VanVleet had to say at media day, it sounds like we got the old Siakam back. VanVleet was especially keen to not that Siakam has his “vibe” back, claiming that it’s “not him against the world” this season. This stability could set the stage for a Siakam breakout.
The Toronto Raptors can count on Pascal Siakam this season.
Siakam is going to be the primary offensive option for this team when he’s healthy, as despite a poor season as a jump-shooter, he brings a blend of athleticism, touch, and ball-handling that is uncommon in the modern NBA, and Toronto will lean on him a great deal.
The Raptors appear to be chalking last season up to the vengeful fingers of the basketball gods, as the levels of bad luck they endured were comical. When Siakam returns from his injury, expect to see the All-NBA player and Most Improved winner fans were able to witness when he was in Toronto instead of Tampa.