Today is the beginning of a new era of Toronto Raptors basketball.
The Raptors made a big time trade when they acquired RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and a 2024 second-round draft pick (via Detroit) from the New York Knicks in exchange for O.G. Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn.
A big move was bound to happen as the team has been struggling so far this season.
Now Toronto gets to debut Barrett and Quickley in front of the home crowd at Scotiabank Arena against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Scottie Barnes now has two young, talented players around him, which should make for an interesting pairing, via Blake Murphy of Sportsnet:
Quickley and Barrett are available tonight.
OG Anunoby wearing #8 for the Knicks, BTW. He debuts at 3pm over there. If Katz doesn’t treat him well, I’m storming NY.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) January 1, 2024
This is the second meeting between Cleveland and Toronto. The Cavaliers won the first meeting back in Ohio on Nov. 26, 105-102. Things look a bit different for both teams this time around.
Darius Garland and Evan Mobley are sidelined due to injury, two key players that are vital to what the Cavaliers want to do this year. An opportunity for the Raptors to pick up a nice win to begin the New Year.
While Cleveland is missing two key players, they are still a competitive team despite the injuries. Coming off a close loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, 119-111, expect a feisty Cavs team coming into Canada.
It will certainly be intriguing to see how Quickley and Barrett play in their debuts and how they play alongside Barnes and Pascal Siakam. Quickley will provide some needed scoring and hopefully returning home will provide some renewed confidence in Barrett.
Toronto Raptors (12-20) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (18-14)
7:30 p.m. ET, Monday, January 1, 2024
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
Projected Raptors Starting Lineup:
PG: Immanuel Quickley
SG: RJ Barrett
SF: Scottie Barnes
PF: Pascal Siakam
C: Jakob Poeltl
Key Reserves: Dennis Schroder, Jalen McDaniels, Chris Boucher
Projected Cavaliers Starting Lineup:
PG: Donovan Mitchell
SG: Max Strus
SF: Issac Okoro
PF: Dean Wade
C: Jarrett Allen
Key Reserves: Caris LeVert, Georges Niang, Craig Porter
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