The Toronto Raptors are officially in their rebuild. The team started a new era when they traded both O.G. Anunoby and Pascal Siakam.
As is the case in any rebuild, there will be a lot of growing pains and rough patches before a team finds success again.
The Raptors are in that tough period right now as they have lost 8 of their last 9 games.
However, Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic has made it clear that Toronto is all about prioritizing player development for the second half of the season.
After the Raptors loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Rajakovic once again emphasized that players improving is the main priority via Sportsnet’s Michael Grange:
“Right now our wins are those small gains and small experiences that show guys are improving & getting better.”
It is clear to see that Rajakovic wants his young players to get better and that supersedes wins right now. Toronto is 16-29 and are 12th in the Eastern Conference.
They have the sixth worst record in the league so they are not a team that is going to be trying to make a play-in push.
The Raptors will use the rest of this season to continue to develop their young core of Immanuel Quickley, Scottie Barnes, RJ Barrett and Gradey Dick. At this point it seems like those are the only four untouchable players on the team right now.
The Raptors have a ton of players on their roster who could be on the move before the Feb. 8 trade deadline with guys like Bruce Brown, Chris Boucher, Dennis Schroder and Gary Trent Jr. all in the rumor mill.
Plan for the future
It remains to be seen what the Raptors will do before the trade deadline and which guys will be dealt.
However, in terms of what the Raptors will do for the rest of this season, they are rebuilding and developing their players which means a lot more losing could be on its way.
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