The regular season is here and the Toronto Raptors take on the Minnesota Timberwolves today at Scotiabank Arena.
It was tumultuous offseason, but the Raptors are looking to make it back to the playoffs. Not much as changed, but Dennis Schroder will be filling the void of Fred VanVleet’s depature.
With Scottie Barnes poised for a breakout season, accompanied by Pascal Siakam, O.G. Anunoby and Jakob Poeltl, this team can surprise some people. Darko Rajakovic is entering his first season as head coach and is hoping to bounce back after being eliminated in the Play-In Tournament last year.
However, former NBA referee Tim Donaghy appeared on the “Dishes and Dimes” podcast, claiming the league is biased against Toronto:
“It’s funny, when I was there anyway, when you saw Toronto on your schedule, you kind of cringed a little bit because there wasn’t much to do there. It was kind of tough when you saw Vancouver or Toronto on your schedule…it is a fun and exciting city, but from a global attention, I don’t think the league is hoping they win too many more championships.”
Stephen Jackson took a shot at Otto Porter Jr. and Philadelphia 76ers guard Patrick Beverley took a shot at Siakam and Anunoby. Now, the city of Toronto is seemingly catching strays as well, despite the tremendous fan support shown for the Raptors.
This offseason was filled with a lot of noise and criticism towards the Raptors organization. A team surrounded by trade rumors for the last handful of months, but ultimately, stuck to their guns.
Whether that is a good decision or not, remains to be seen. Toronto is now four years removed from their first championship, which was a historic moment for Canada, but the league may not feel the same.
American media have counted the Raptors out already, but they have a chance to prove a lot of people wrong this season.
Toronto picks up their 2024/25 team option on Barnes
Barnes was the No. 4 in the 2021 NBA draft and has easily cemented himself as the building block of the Raptors.
Despite some stagnation from Year 1 to Year 2, he is expected to take a leap this season.
Due to his incredible potential and upside, Toronto picked up his 2024-25 team option, which should not be a surprise.
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