It’s no surprise that the media pundits have been critical of the Toronto Raptors 2023 NBA offseason.
The Raptors lost All-Star point guard Fred VanVleet for nothing to the Houston Rockets who signed him to a three-year, $130-million max deal in free agency. The team then elected to sign guard Dennis Schroder to a two-year, $26 million deal as their plan B.
Bleacher Report isn’t high on the Raptors going into the 2023-24 season. They predicted the Raptors will finish with a 36-46 record and now list them as one of the 7 NBA teams that blew it this offseason.
Bleacher Report questions the Raptors direction. Unsure if Toronto is still trying to win by bringing back Jakob Poeltl and signing Dennis Schroder or wanting to head into a rebuild after losing VanVleet and with Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby set to become unrestricted free agents next summer.
If the Raptors do decide to rebuild they left themselves in a difficult situation since their 2024 first round pick is top-six protected, which means if it’s outside of the top six it goes to the San Antonio Spurs:
“Even if the Raptors wanted to rebuild, they’ve now forced themselves to be really bad in order to keep their next first-round pick (top-six protected) or else the selection goes to the San Antonio Spurs. This is now a team with no real direction, no long-term security from some of its top stars and potentially no first-round pick.”
The Raptors will have their fair share of naysayers entering this season. We’ll see if the Raptors end up going through another tumultuous season or if Toronto ends up exceeding expectations.
Why the Raptors can prove the media pundits wrong
Although the Raptors roster seems a little clunky, there’s still a lot of talent on this team. The loss of VanVleet will be big, however the Raptors can overcome this if other players can step up.
If the Raptors can see player development from guys like OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr. and especially Scottie Barnes they should be in good shape.
Mix that with Dennis Schroder potentially having a breakout season after his impressive showing at the 2023 FIBA World Cup and the Raptors might really be cooking.
If a lot of things go right for the Raptors, this team could be playoff bound. Here’s the best case scenario for the Raptors in 2023-2024.
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