Toronto Raptors: Possible lineups for the 2019-20 season

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol (Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol (Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /
8 of 8
Toronto Raptors – OG Anunoby (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors – OG Anunoby (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /


  • Kyle Lowry
  • Fred VanVleet
  • Stanley Johnson/Norman Powell/Matt Thomas
  • OG Anunoby
  • Pascal Siakam

Every team has their own version of the death lineup, but the original moniker comes from the Golden State Warriors’ most potent lineup over the last few years: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green.

No other team has been able to replicate this lineup completely (since it’s made up of five Hall-of-Famers) but the Raptors can do their best with their current personnel to create their own version.

Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet would be backcourt mates once again, not only because they are the two best guards the Raptors have, but because the death lineup demands three things from everyone:

Shooting, defensive versatility, and unselfishness.

Lowry and VanVleet can both shoot it, they can both switch on other players despite being undersized, they’re both elite defenders, and they’re both very willing passers.

Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby would be the best choices for the two big-man spots because of their amazing ability to guard almost every position. They could, however, both benefit from being a little more decisive when passing the ball.  A death lineup is built on overwhelming the defense with speed and quick decisions; OG and Siakam will need to lean into that.

Both Siakam and Anunoby are capable shooters, although they both have room to grow in that department. Siakam was a 37-percent three-point shooter during the regular season, however, his 9-percent drop during the playoffs was concerning.

Anunoby’s career three-point percentage of 35-percent is good but not great, and his career assist percentage of 4.9-percent is another area that could use improvement.

The final spot in this lineup is tricky to fill because the Raptors don’t have one single player that fits the lineup criteria, but rather three options, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Matt Thomas is a great shooter, but it’s not yet clear whether he will be a good playmaker or defender in the NBA.

Norman Powell is familiar with the Raptors system and is a decent playmaker, but he isn’t an elite shooter by any means and has trouble defending forwards, many of whom are taller than him.

Lastly, Stanley Johnson is one of the most versatile defenders on the team, but his shooting kills the five-out nature required of a lineup this small.

Nick Nurse will have to experiment to see which player is best suited to join this lineup. At this time, there’s no clear choice.

This is a deep and talented team with young talent as well as veteran leadership. Despite losing last season’s Finals MVP, and a reliable starter (Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green), the Toronto Raptors still have the personnel to be competitive in the Eastern Conference.

dark. Next. One Drake lyric of every player on the Toronto Raptors

Nurse will have new players and new lineups to experiment with this season, which is nothing new for the Toronto Raptors coach. Expectations may not be as high for this season’s team as it was last for last year’s team, but as NBA Champions, they’ve earned the right to not be counted out.