The Toronto Raptors have a whole new look this season, as they had to part ways with Kyle Lowry in the offseason as part of the beginning of a new era. Masai Ujiri once again has this team in prime position to make a run at the postseason despite some preseason doubters.
The team is still going to be led by some of the championship holdovers, but there has been some serious overhauling thanks to Ujiri and the front office. Toronto wanted to be as flexible and positionless as possible, and many of their new additions fit in with that directive.
Nick Nurse will have a genuine challenge ahead of him when it comes to figuring out exactly what he needs to do from a rotation point of view. With so many young players that will all be fighting for minutes, Nurse needs to make sure that everyone is able to get their touches.
This depth chart and minutes distribution is what the Raptors should start the season with. Players that are bolded are designated as starters, and these numbers are based on what the rotation will look like when Pascal Siakam comes back from his shoulder injury.
Toronto Raptors: The perfect depth chart and rotation for 2021.
- Fred VanVleet: 33 minutes
- Gary Trent Jr: 26 minutes
- Goran Dragic: 22 minutes
- Malachi Flynn: 17 minutes
- Dalano Banton: 0 minutes
- David Johnson: 0 minutes
The only player who played more minutes per game last year than Fred VanVleet was Julius Randle, though Nurse doesn’t have to run him on the ground this season. He and Gary Trent Jr. will be on the floor together for heavy minutes, with the combination of Goran Dragic and Malachi Flynn serving as the backups.
VanVleet and Trent need time to get got considering their streaky styled, and by giving them this allotment of minutes, both players could thrive simultaneously. The Raptors need to make sure that Flynn ends up getting plenty of minutes early on in this season along with the veteran in Dragic.
The Toronto Raptors need to develop Fred VanVleet and Malachi Flynn.
While the Raptors will likely look to trade Dragic whenever the situation comes up, they need to take advantage of his scoring while he’s here. Flynn was lethal in Summer League play, and it’s time to see if he can take that confidence and translate it over to legit NBA minutes.
Dalano Banton has tons of potential due to his frame, and David Johnson could be a nice two-way player, but both of them may see more time in Mississauga than Toronto this year, at least at the beginning of the year. The backcourt should provide a good chunk of the scoring punch this season.