Toronto Raptors Roundtable: Biggest surprise, realistic goals, and more

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Fred VanVleet (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Who’s more important to the Raptors future, Fred VanVleet or OG Anunoby?

Mike Bossetti:

Fred VanVleet is the better player right now, but for the future of the team, it’s OG Anunoby. Two-way wings are incredibly difficult to find and OG’s ability to space the floor and make an elite impact on the defensive side of the ball are rarer skills than what VanVleet brings to the table.

Anunoby has already taken a major step forward this season. If he can take another leap by either improving his volume offensively or going from a fringe All-Defensive team player to a true defensive superstar, Toronto will have the forward position locked up for a long time.

Nikola Cuvalo:

Anunoby.  If only because he’s three years younger than VanVleet, and because his ceiling is far more suitable to the modern NBA game. 3-and-D wings who can actually shoot it and really lock down opposing stars are the most valuable commodity in the league; that seems unlikely to change over the next decade. His size, athleticism, and room to grow into a max or near-max player make Anunoby more valuable to Toronto in the long-term. Currently, VanVleet does a lot more for the team, but smaller point guards with little left to explore in their development just cannot hold a candle to young, hyper-athletic, offensively competent combo forwards.

Michael Walton:

I would say Fred VanVleet. OG Anunoby fills a position of scarcity, which does give him tremendous value as an awesome 3-and-D wing. But while Anunoby would be hard to replace, VanVleet might be literally impossible for the Raptors to replace in short order.

The guard out of Rockford, Illinois has been wonderful this season and has been able to provide great energy and effort on defense even in the games where he has started at the two-guard spot. He’s leading the league with more than 37 minutes per game and somehow still hasn’t lost a step defensively. VanVleet has improved assist percentage and true shooting percentage while dealing with an increased usage rate. He has clearly made his case as the team’s most important non-Siakam or Lowry player.

Geethan Viswathasan

As of right now, VanVleet. In Lowry’s absence, VanVleet showed he can be a lead guard for a competitive franchise. Yes, he’s due for a big pay-raise. But finances aside, he’s the most important of the two and has shown more ability and consistency thus far.

Anunoby has a higher ceiling and has shown flashes of greatness throughout this campaign.  He’ll be under team control for much longer and is younger. Still, everything VanVleet does on the court makes up for those differences.