The Toronto Raptors decided to run it back this season and kept their core together, minus Fred VanVleet.
Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam and O.G. Anunoby are the top three talents currently on the roster. The hope is that new head coach Darko Rajakovic can get more out of this team this season.
In a seemingly open Eastern Conference, media outlets are still not high on Toronto in their projections. As the regular season draws near, team rankings have been coming out and now it’s player rankings.
ESPN’s NBArank released their player rankings for the 2023-24 season, starting at 100 to 51.
A Raptors player that climbed the ladder was Anunoby, who was No. 75 last year and he’s now No. 67. The forward was highly sought after at February’s trade deadline because of his superb defense and 3-point shooting.
Anunoby averaged 16.8 points, 5 rebounds and 1.9 steals. He shot it 47.6% from the field and 38.7% from 3 last season. Now heading into his seventh season, the hope is for him to take more of a leap scoring wise.
As the NBA is becoming predominately wing-oriented, Anunoby’s value is going to continue to rise as he’s still only 25 years of age. The potential is certainly there for Anunoby to be one of the best wings in the league.
Next was Scottie Barnes, who saw a massive drop in his ranking this year. Last year he was ranked No. 39 and this year he’s fallen all the way down to No. 65.
Barnes, who did not see much of a jump in his stats from his rookie to sophomore season has a lot to prove in his third year.
The former Florida State Seminole averaged 15.3 points in both seasons, but took a step back in terms of his shooting. Barnes field goal percentage dropped from 49.2 to 45.6 and his 3-point shooting dropped from 30.1% to 28.1%.
Barnes potential is there but he needs to do more this season for ESPN to take notice of his talents.
Anunoby says ‘I love Toronto so I want to be here’
As mentioned, Anunoby was a name throw around at the trade deadline last season, but was not moved.
Anunoby is a pending free agency next summer, so his time in Toronto is in question.
But, Anunoby said at Media Day that he loves Toronto and wants to remain a Raptor.
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