The Toronto Raptors had a relatively disappointing 2021/22 season after finishing the regular season as the 5th seed in the East but then being bounced out by the 76ers in the first round of the playoffs. Despite not having the best result, the team did come out with a number of positives.
One, guard-forward Scottie Barnes was named the 2021-22 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, becoming the third raptor to take home the title. Barnes looks poised for continued success and should improve his game tremendously over the next few seasons. Another big plus to take away from the season was the growth of Pascal Siakam, named to the All NBA Third Team. His development has been integral in the Raptor’s ability to stay afloat during the regular season and pick up the 5th seed in the East.
If the team is expected to start making deep postseason runs however, we expect a bunch of changes to take place in terms of roster. The team is currently rich with guards and forwards, with the likes of Fred VanFleet, OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, Chri Boucher and Gary Trent Jr. The team is in severe need of a top center to bolster their front court and help with rebounding. Right now the center position is filled by Khem Birch and Thaddeus Young.
Possible Roster Changes
This offseason the Raptors are expected to make some big changes to their roster. The team has nine players under contract next season, assuming Svi Mykhailiuk picks up his player option for 2022-23. This leaves the Raptors with six open roster spots to fill, two of which will probably go to re-signing Dalano Banton and Chris Boucher. Thaddeus Young is also likely to stick around which could bring the number of available slots down to 3.
It is rumoured that guard OG Anunoby is unhappy with his minutes and will likely look to be traded. Anunoby will become available this offseason as a free agent and is expected to garner a lot of attention with a long list of interested suitors.
Raptor’s head office has also been talking a lot about bringing in a top center to help anchor their defence. It could be the perfect fit for Utah Jazz defensive anchor Rudy Gobert, who is widely rumoured to be on the trade market this summer. He currently has four years and $170 million remaining on his contract. He averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots last season and has a defensive presence which could be used by the Raptors for great effect.
Overall, if the Raptors can get their hands on a good center while keeping their core talent happy, you should see the team in the running for a top 4 seed in the East for 2022-23.