The Giannis to Toronto Raptors rumors first circulated a few weeks ago. Now it’s time to look at the impact he’ll bring to the organization if he does sign here in 2021.
The Toronto Raptors have the perfect system and the perfect army. What they don’t have is the one deadly artillery/firepower that takes them over the top — last year it was Kawhi Leonard. With the Raptors looking like they possessed that earlier in the season with Siakam, come playoff time, Siakam as a lone star may not be enough.
Masai will be looking to add that next star as soon as possible as their prized commodity becomes available. His name: Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis who has all the talent and will in the world has been held back once again this season. His coach’s continuous lack of adjustments come playoff time, bad rotations, playing less than 40 minutes in must-win games are all easy fixes with a coach like Nick Nurse.
A coach who has thrown curveballs left and right by throwing different defenses at different teams, making timely adjustments, and playing his more important players more than 35 minutes in a do or die game.
But we already know the fit will be great, so let’s discuss how Giannis would impact the Toronto Raptors franchise if he does sign here.
Toronto Raptors won’t be seen as a just a pit stop along the road
Even for Kawhi Leonard, Toronto was just a place where he’d finish his contract and he’d be off by the season’s end when he was initially traded. Of course, Kawhi Leonard actually changed the franchise forever when he joined the Toronto Raptors, and what he did is something fans will be fond of forever.
Several players have come to Toronto expecting to leave right after. Kyle Lowry is also a player on the list who thought Toronto would just be a pit stop. Clearly, we know how his career turned out here and he’ll most likely be the first player to have his number retired here.
Now if Giannis Antetokounmpo does decide to sign here, the narrative that Toronto is just a short stop in your NBA career will be gone. The championship has certainly turned some heads, and now with the best coach in the league, the top player development program, the Toronto Raptors have established themselves as way more than just a place to finish a contract. Adding Giannis will only contribute to that further.
Toronto Raptors will have the best player in the league for the first time
When did the Toronto Raptors ever go into a season having one the undisputed best players in the league on their team? You could say Kawhi, but he was coming off a serious quad injury and only played nine games before last season. So we didn’t exactly know how he’d look like coming back from that. Furthermore, his lack of regular-season success never got him the recognition from the league he did deserve.
Giannis, on the contrary, has found that success in the regular season that gets him the utmost respect, even with the playoff blunders. It’s hard not to get praise from the league when you have one of the best statistical seasons ever and win both the MVP and Defensive Player of the year award — only the third ever player to do that behind Jordan and Olajuwon.
The Raptors would have the best player in the league as the face of their franchise and would put this Toronto Raptors on a world pedestal.
Toronto Raptors championship window extended further
Possibly the most important reason any organization would try to sign Giannis is to either extend or start a championship window. For the Raptors, it would be the former. After falling a possession short of continuing to the conference finals, there is no doubt that the Raptors can still compete for a championship. There’s just one thing missing again, a superstar to compliment a really good team.
Adding Giannis would make the Toronto Raptors serious title contenders for years to come and with Nick Nurse at the helm, maybe there’s a chance the Raptors go for a Spurs’ like run. The Raptors obviously don’t have a version of Tim Duncan on their team, but maybe with Giannis and Nurse, something similar doesn’t seem out of the question.
Plus, the Raptors have already made the playoffs seven years in a row and might give the Spurs 22-year playoff streak a run for their money (it is a joke, it’s a streak no one will ever get close to…but maybe?). Nonetheless, there is no expectation that the Raptors will rebuild any time soon, especially with young guys like VanVleet, Anunoby, and Siakam developing every year.
Giannis strides around players who can create their own shot, shoot, and defend. Things all Bucks players forget to do once they enter the postseason. Giannis would fit right into Nurse’s defensive system and would surely create the perfect ecosystem for him to strive on offense.
Presently, all we have to do is wait and see till the 2021 offseason. Every person out there who follows NBA news knows that the Toronto Raptors are one the more likely destinations for Giannis if he does decide to leave. We just have to hope he makes the right decision if he truly is all about winning.