Toronto Raptors: Five crazy predictions that might come true

Toronto Raptors - Fred VanVleet (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Fred VanVleet (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
3 of 6
Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Marc Gasol (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Raptors have a bottom-seven offense

The other side of the coin, while the Raptors defense could be great this season, the offense might be just as big of a liability.

Obviously, the departure of Kawhi Leonard will be the most significant blow. Yes, Toronto was 17-5 without Leonard last season, but their offense did struggle without him on the court.

With Leonard on the floor, the Raptors posted an offensive rating of 115.6, a figure which would rank first in the NBA. With him off the floor, Toronto posted an offensive rating of 107.7, dropping them down to 23rd overall. While some of that had to do with the stark difference between the starters and the bench last season, it’s not a stretch to say losing a top-three player will significantly hurt the offense.

The loss of Leonard has been discussed at length, but perhaps the area which hasn’t been talked about enough is the departure of Danny Green. Green shot 45.5-percent from beyond the arc last season, the second-highest figure in the entire league. He wasn’t a high volume player, but he was incredibly efficient, and more importantly, spaced the floor for others.

Downgrading from Kawhi and Green to Anunoby and Powell will undoubtedly hurt the Raptors offense. Another impact will be the loss of two competent backups. Instead, the Raptors rotation will feature names such as Patrick McCaw, Terence Davis, Stanley Jonson, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, solid defensive players but extremely limited on the offensive end.

There is an easy path to a capable Raptors offense, which is kept afloat by solid point guard play, 48 minutes of talented offensive centers who can space the floor, and Pascal Siakam continuing to be an absolute stud.

However, the unit lacks shot creation, 3-point shooting, and while talented, Pascal is still relatively unproven as a number one guy. If Kyle Lowry or Fred VanVleet miss 20 or so games, who is playing backup point guard? Toronto could be a bottom three offense during that time

The Charlotte’s, Memphis’s, and other tanktastic teams will keep the Raptors out of the cellar, but with real flaws entering the season, there’s a serious downside on this end of the court.

Odds: 12-percent