Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors have officially moved into offseason mode now that their playoff run has come to a close. Despite Scottie Barnes winning Rookie of the Year and Fred VanVleet being named an All-Star, the Raptors were unable to win their playoff series against Philadelphia.
Toronto can take solace in the fact that they were able to make it to the postseason on the back of a young core that arrived far ahead of schedule. Did anyone really expect this young team to win 48 games and establish themselves as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference?
Masai Ujiri is already hard at work trying to turn this roster over and figuring out what the holes are in order to dominate next year. That doesn’t mean we can’t look back on this season and fondly remember all of the players that helped erase the stink brought on by the Tampa sabbatical.
With the season in the books, it is time to take a look back at the roster and figure out which players performed exceptionally well last year. Likewise, we also need to call out those who did not play up to what their talent says they should have.
Toronto Raptors 2021-22 Grades: Guards
While he started to tail off just a bit in the second half of the season due to injury, VanVleet was a deserving All-Star who was carrying the team in late December and early January. A season for the ages helped VanVleet establish himself as one of the best point guards in the entire league.
Gary Trent Jr.
Trent can be maddening due to how inconsistent he can be on any given night, but his increasing scoring chops combined with a genuinely startling turnaround on the defensive end are enough to confirm that Trent was worth his three-year contract. Expect big things from him next year.
Toronto Raptors: Gary Trent Jr. proved to be a valuable addition.
Flynn might not have taken the step forward that many anticipated this season, but he had some very impactful minutes down the stretch. Flynn might have earned a spot on next year’s roster after salvaging some goodwill with Nurse and the rest of the organization late.
Despite his reputation as an elite 3-point shooter, Brooks struggled to score after signing with Toronto. Still, Brooks looked like a much better defender than he did in Houston. He has as good a shot as anyone when it comes to sticking on the back half of the roster next year.
Banton started the year off hot, but the Rexdale native started to show the holes in his game on the offensive side. He’s worth keeping around, but he still has a ton to work on when it comes to being a scorer.