The Toronto Raptors have the unfortunate pleasure of playing in the toughest division in the NBA. While Masai Ujiri is trying to retool this team and make the playoffs, Toronto’s rivals are either considered to be championship contenders like the Nets and 76ers or playoff locks like the Knicks and Celtics.
While the Raptors were able to get Precious Achiuwa in a sign-and-trade while re-signing Gary Trent Jr. to a three-year deal, their rivals didn’t stand around twiddling their thumbs, as they spent a ton of money to surround their stars with perfect role players.
As is always the case, the best-laid plans don’t often end up as rosy as the team in question assumes they will be. As always, there are overpays, questionable moves, and huge regrets that come with each free agency period, and this year is no exception for the teams in the Atlantic.
These 3 moves from teams in the Raptors’ division stand out as some of the more questionable decisions we have seen taken over the last few weeks. If something goes wrong for these three teams, they could look to these 3 signings as reasons why everything has gone wrong.
3 worst free agency flubs by Toronto Raptors rivals.
3. Brooklyn Nets: Making Blake Griffin the starting center again.
The Nets will be title favorites this year thanks to Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving’s scoring ability, but that doesn’t mean that Brooklyn is going to waltz to the title. Blake Griffin playing center is a huge reason why the Nets will still be a beatable team next season.
Griffin proved that he could be a valuable contributor to a title team with his shooting and rebounding after an ugly end to his Detroit tenure, and his contract isn’t very expensive, but he still has the potential to be a major flaw in Brooklyn’s recipe for success, as was proven in the postseason.
Blake Griffin won’t help the Nets on defense.
The likes of Nicolas Claxton and rookie Day’Ron Sharpe could help the Nets in this area, but Steve Nash seemed hesitant to give Claxton minutes over Griffin and Sharpe may find it hard to crack the rotation as a rookie. The Nets will have to win most of their games via shootout again.
The Raptors managed to play very well against the Nets last year, even if you take into account the fact that they almost never had all three of their superstar scorers healthy at the same time. the lack of an interior rim-stuffer is a huge reason why, and Griffin’s scoring might not be enough to make up for his deficiencies in that area.