The 2021 season has not gone to plan for the Toronto Raptors as they are currently on the outside looking in and are struggling to put some wins.
The Toronto Raptors have not started their 2020-21 season how they imagined, and they are struggling to string some wins together and get into the playoff picture.
We have seen Nick Nurse and his staff go with a handful of different lineups throughout the last couple of weeks and it seems like they work for the first half of the game, but then the team just can’t play in the second half.
The Raptors big men are struggling, well let me rephrase this, the Raptors new big men that they signed have been struggling because Chris Boucher is doing Chris Boucher things right now and is looking amazing so far.
Toronto Raptors Struggles
The Toronto Raptors have struggled with a lot of things to start their 2021 season and it isn’t a surprise to anyone right now because it’s pretty obvious watching them play. At the beginning of the season, it felt like they couldn’t score and they couldn’t defend properly either, especially being a team who has been a great defensive team for a while now it was kind of concerning watching them play.
A couple of games go by and they start scoring again and their defence starts to form nicely on the floor and they start looking like the Raptors defence that we’ve seen in seasons prior, however, there is still one thing that is costing them games, one thing that is the main element to winning basketball games, that is rebounding and at least decent rim protection.
We’ve seen the Toronto Raptors start Aron Baynes at center, we’ve seen them start Alex Len at center, and we’ve even seen them play small ball to start some games as well. It just seems like Nurse and staff can’t find one lineup that will help them consistently play a solid game and not choke away any leads they have gained throughout the first two quarters.
However, they do have Boucher who they could potentially start but that would be a massive loss of bench production for the team and I don’t know if Nurse would want to do that when they already have inconsistency with their bench. All in all, there is one player in particular who I think can have a massive impact on the Raptors and it may not cost them much to acquire, but you never know.
Is Andre Drummond the Answer?
Andre Drummond of the Cleveland Cavaliers is having a heck of a season right now, actually, let me say this again, Andre Drummond of the team who has three capable centers that can start games and maybe are willing to trade one of the three big men is off to a great start to this 2021 season.
If Drummond was on this Toronto Raptors team, he would help them immediately and fix the problems that they currently have which are rebounding either on the offensive side or the defensive side and at least some decent rim protection because it seems like Baynes and Len cannot do either of that.
Drummond has been off to a hot start like I said, so the asking price for someone who has been playing out of his mind lately may be pretty high, however, he is currently on the last year of his deal so it may not be that expensive as we originally thought. Here are Drummond’s 2020-21 stats with that Cavaliers through 12 games so far.
2020-21 stats – 12 GP – 19.3 PPG – 15.8 RPG – 2.9 APG – .475 FG% – ..000 3P% – .558 FT%
As you can see Drummond can average a double-double on any given night and can shoot just under 50% from the floor as well, which is better than what both Baynes and Len have done through the Raptors early season so far. He is also 27 years old and if he decides to re-sign with the organization when the 2021 off-season begins, then that is a win-win in my eyes as you get a good starting center who is still young and agreed to return to the team and won’t just be a rental for this season.
Now here are both Aron Baynes and Alex Len’s 2020-21 stats with the Toronto Raptors through the teams first month of action.
Baynes 2020-21 stats – 9 GP – 4.3 PPG – 4.9 RPG – 0.4 APG – .375 FG% – .167 3P% – NA FT%
Len 2020-21 stats – 7 GP – 2.3 PPG – 1.6 RPG – 0.4 APG – .500 FG% – .500 3P% – .500 FT%
(Stats from Basketball-Reference.com)
Potential Raptors Available for Trade
Now that we know what Andre Drummond is capable of doing for teams and that he has only one year left on his current contract, we have to think of some Raptors that could potentially be available for a trade if Masai and Bobby intend to go the trade route to fix their problems.
The initial players that come to my mind when I think of trade are Norman Powell and Terence Davis for sure, however, if Cleveland would want a big man in return and would want either Aron Baynes or Alex Len included in the deal, it cannot go through for another couple of weeks due to both centers signing in the off-season.
Picks would definitely be involved in a trade like this too, especially if it’s only Powell and Davis going to Cleveland because I honestly don’t think those two could just get the deal done for Drummond. Then again we did see the Raptors trade DeRozan and Poeltl in exchange for Leonard and Green and by the looks of that Toronto could’ve given up a bit more but didn’t.
However, at the end of the day, anything can happen and the Cavaliers could end up wanting maybe one of Powell or Davis along with a couple of picks instead of both guards and a couple picks or whatever we can think of.
I don’t expect a guy like Siakam will get traded in a trade like this simply because they aren’t getting a player in return like Harden when those rumours were swirling around and Siakam’s name was out there.