The case for blowing up the Toronto Raptors roster
At some point this season, Ujiri has to realistically look at the roster and ask himself if this team can win a championship. If he believes the answer is no, a full-on rebuild could be an attractive option.
Even if guys like OG Anunoby, VanVleet, and Siakam are preparing to take a step up this year, are they good enough to beat teams like the Nets, Bucks, 76ers, or Heat in a seven-game series?
As currently constructed, the Raptors would likely sneak into the playoffs and could maybe win a playoff series at best. However, for a team that’s recently won a championship, would getting pummeled in the first round be an attractive option for the next half-decade?
Being mediocre is the worst possible scenario to be stuck in because you’re not good enough to compete for a championship, and you’re not bad enough to land a top pick. Unfortunately for Toronto, it looks like they will be teetering around this range with the roster they currently have.
The Raptors could follow the blueprint of the Thunder’s rebuild.
After landing Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a record-setting amount of picks for Paul George, Thunder GM Sam Presti fully embraced the rebuild and shipped off anyone valuable in exchange for draft capital, while keeping Gilgeous-Alexander as the player to build around.
If the Raptors intend to go into rebuild mode, mimicking the Thunder rebuild could be ideal for Toronto. Although they likely won’t inherit the same amount of draft capital that the Thunder did, shipping off VanVleet and Siakam would certainly bring back multiple quality draft picks.
Ujiri is the perfect man to lead the way. He’s hit on a lot of his selections but has rarely had additional first-round picks to work with. A rebuild revolving around Barnes, Anunoby, multiple picks, and the magic of Ujiri is perfect for a team starting their rebuild.