The case against blowing up the Toronto Raptors roster
There’s no denying, the Raptors had a bad 2020-21 season. This was due in part to their play, but issues out of their control such as COVID-19, playing in Tampa, and the organization not so secretly trying to tank near the end of the year.
At one point in the season, the Raptors willed their way up to the 4th seed after a 2-8 start, before COVID issues hit and ended their season prematurely.
On paper, this team is far better than their 27-45 record suggested. With a return to Toronto imminent and the big-man issues improved upon to a certain extent, the Raptors should at the very least be playing in meaningful games down the stretch.
Even if this Raptors team isn’t good enough to compete for a title, would Ujiri be willing to part with talented players he built from the ground up? Historically, Toronto has never been an attractive free agency destination. Having players like VanVleet and Siakam that are willing to stay long-term is an honor that Toronto might not want to just give up.
The Toronto Raptors need to maintain a winning culture.
No doubt, the Raptors have been a top-tier organization over the last eight years, and there’s been one common theme that’s stuck for all but one of those years. That common theme is their winning culture. Maintaining a winning culture is something that teams like the Kings and Timberwolves have been seeking for many years.
The Raptors aren’t like the Lakers or Heat. They aren’t able to just take a few seasons off with the hopes that they can pry the biggest fish off the free agency market. Mixing a losing team with their location outside of the States is a complete turn-off to players, and could damage the Raptors for years to come.