The Toronto Raptors recently lost in the second round in game seven to the Boston Celtics. With the off-season slowly approaching, the Raptors need to turn their focus towards adding to their already talented roster.
Although this free-agent class is not nearly as star-studded as next year, the Toronto Raptors can build on their current roster by adding or keeping a couple of impact players.
Here are the top three things I would try to accomplish this off-season if I were the Raptors:
3. Re-sign Serge Ibaka (PF) or Sign Tristan Thompson (PF/C)
With the departure of Marc Gasol, the Toronto Raptors are in a difficult situation regarding who their starting big men will be for the 2021 season. The 31-year-old veteran, Serge Ibaka, is coming off one of his best seasons in the league averaging 15.3 points per game (PPG) and 8.2 rebounds per game (RPG) in 55 games this season. Serge is an impact player that can make a difference on a contending team like the Raptors.
Tristan Thompson would be a great fit as well if the Raptors are unable to resign Serge Ibaka. Thompson is only 29-years-old and he has a ton of playoff experience. Although his team had a poor performance this past season, Tristan was able to put up solid numbers averaging 12 PPG and 10.1 RPG in 57 games this season. With Tristan being from Canada, it is possible that he could come home to Toronto on a team-friendly deal.
2. Re-sign Fred VanVleet (PG)
If you watched the Raptors in recent years, you cannot deny the impact that Fred VanVleet has had on this team. He has played a major role in the teams’ success and his numbers show it. Fred averaged 17.6 PPG, 6.6 assists per game (APG), and 3.4 RPG in 54 games this season.
Considering that Fred is the second point guard on the team to Kyle Lowry, these numbers are outstanding! Fred is a perfect complementary guard to pair with Lowry and the 26-year-old is just scratching the surface. Fred has earned a big contract, so he may come at a hefty price.
1. Sign Montrezl Harrell (PF/C)
Montrezl Harrell is one of the bigger names that this free-agent market has to offer. He is an absolute beast on the boards and his offensive game has improved mightily throughout his NBA career. Coming off the bench, Harrell put up spectacular numbers averaging 18.6 PPG and 7.1 RPG in 63 games on route to winning his first career sixth man of the year award.
Harrell would be a great fit for the Raptors because he will add some grit on top of being a great talent. Harrell is young and is one of the top free agents in the class so it would not shock me if a team were to offer him a max contract.
Hassan Whiteside, C
Overall, the Raptors can make these moves in this off-season and be right in contention for the upcoming season. However, if the Raptors plan on making a major run for Giannis in the 2021 free agency, then they may need to hold off on signing a big name like Harrell this off-season.
These are the many internal decisions that the Toronto Raptors are going to have to face going into the 2021 season. With next year’s free-agent class being as star-studded as it is, there are many questions that will be answered as we approach the 2021 NBA season.