Toronto Raptors preseason roundtable: Hottest take, predicted finish, and more

Toronto Raptors - OG Anunoby (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - OG Anunoby (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Fred VanVleet (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Hottest Raptors take for this season?

Mike Bossetti:

I’ve teetered back and forth on this, and I’m not sure I 100-percent believe it yet, but I’m at least at 50-percent….. I think the Toronto Raptors should explore the trade market on Fred VanVleet.

VanVleet is in the last year of his contract and will receive a HEFTY payday at the end of this season. Entering unrestricted free agency as the best point guard on the market, it’s not unreasonable to say he could receive an offer north of $20 million per season. If that’s the figure, he’ll be significantly overpaid.

Rather than overpaying Fred, Toronto could get ahead of the situation this year. Deal him to a team who is point guard desperate and sell him as the future of their young core. After the postseason he just had and while he’s still on a reasonable deal, his value could be peaking.

Mark Birdsell:

The Toronto Raptors make the Eastern Conference Finals. OG Anunoby is on record saying that the Raptors are going to repeat as NBA Champions. And while that seems unlikely, a trip to the conference finals is within reach.

The Raptors are returning seven of their top nine players from a team that went 17-5 without Kawhi Leonard last season. Pascal Siakam is going to thrive as the Raptors’ no. 1 option, and Marc Gasol and Kyle Lowry are capable of carrying a larger offensive load.

The 76ers and Bucks are the top two teams in the conference on paper, but both teams have lost key contributors from last season. Nothing is guaranteed, if the Raptors are healthy they are a legitimate threat.

Michael Walton II:

My hottest Toronto Raptors take is that not only do I not expect them to not be sellers at any point, but I expect them to be aggressive buyers throughout the season.

Raptors GM Masai Ujiri surely has his eye on the loaded 2021 NBA free agency class but with how aggressive he is, I expect him to look for a big-time scorer to make them more of a fringe-NBA Finals contender.

Andrew Hughes

The Raptors will have a top ten record heading into the All-Star break. As the rest of the league attempts to find their footing with new faces, Toronto’s stability should standout.

Yes, the Raptors lost two key players, there’s no need to rehash that argument. But, as we’ve seen in recent history, newly minted rosters can take some time to click, so I’ll gamble that that will be the case in the West especially.

The Raptors retained their identity with a recently discovered knack for winning big games. That, ultimately, will be the difference until the All-Star break. After that, I expect everyone else to catch up and, perhaps, the Raptors to fall off as well.