1. Consistency in an elevated scoring role.
With Lowry now in Miami, the Raptors have lost one of their primary offensive threats for nearly a decade. The All-Star point guard ranked top three on the team in total points scored each of the last nine seasons and was either first or second every season between 2013-14 and 2019-20.
Toronto will also begin the season with forward Pascal Siakam sidelined as he continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery. Siakam, who has led the Raptors in points per game each of the last two seasons, is likely out until November.
Speaking to the media on September 27, Raptors general manager Bobby Webster said that Spicy P is not yet cleared for contact.
OG Anunoby will have a bigger role in the Toronto Raptors offense.
Suffice to say, there’s a void on the offensive end of the floor, and Anunoby would seem the likeliest of candidates to get additional shots and have an increase in plays run for him.
Anunoby, like all Raptors, should benefit from returning home to Canada and settling in for an 82-game campaign. Anunoby was affected more than most last season by the pandemic., He wasn’t just displaced to Tampa, for a time he was displaced from Toronto’s lineup, missing more than two weeks of action due to COVID-19 protocols.
The athletic forward missed half a dozen games in that stretch alone. He also dealt with a calf injury from January onwards, which ultimately led to the Raptors shutting Anunoby down for the last couple of weeks of their schedule.
Despite these fits and starts, Anunoby managed to put up career highs while being in and out of the lineup. After the first month of the season, he never suited up for more than 10 consecutive games.
One can imagine what Anunoby’s numbers might have looked like if he had been in the lineup consistently last season. Should he stay healthy this season, we just might find out.