A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and this goes double for championship-contending teams. While the star players are what carry a team, the supporting cast of role players is what can make or break a playoff run.
With a first-year player arguably the third-best player on the team, this is not a core built to win now. The Raptors continually struggled to battle down low against bigger opponents due to their lack of center depth, and they had their troubles shooting the ball from deep.
Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet need better role players.
If Siakam and VanVleet are to have a legitimate chance to take the Raptors to the promised land, the team needs to reevaluate the supporting cast. Siakam and VanVleet will take the heat, but Bobby Webster and Masai Ujiri need to take a close look at this team and find a way to support their dynamic duo if they want to contend in the next few years.
It’s too early to tell if a core built around Siakam and VanVleet is good enough to contend. With both players under contract until 2024, the clock is ticking. Time will tell if this duo is up to snuff as the Raptors hope to make a return to the playoffs in the 2022-23 season.