The Toronto Raptors need to start kicking the offseason into high gear now that the champions have been crowned, as Masai Ujiri needs to figure out how to get this Raptors team back into the championship picture. Nailing it in the early stages of the draft and free agency will set this team up for success.
The Raptors need to perform well in the summer, as the conference will only get tougher. One or two missteps could be fatal for the Raptors as they try to replicate their shocking 2021-22 season in which they won 48 games and earned the No. 5 seed.
Even with only one second-round draft pick and only a slight amount of financial wiggle room, the pieces for an offseason that exceeds expectations are all in place. Ujiri needs to capitalize on the momentum from last year and go into this year expecting to add several quality contributors.
If the Raptors can reinforce their depth, bring in more young prospects that strengthen their long-term plan, and lock up their stars, Ujiri will once again need to be praised for masterful executive work. A dream season starts with a dream offseason, and a dream offseason can only be accomplished with these four points.
Toronto Raptors dream 2022 offseason: 4 steps for success.
1. Re-sign Thad Young.
The Raptors have both Young and Chris Boucher in danger of leaving via the open market. While they could go right up near the luxury tax and retain both of them, the odds are that only one of them will come back for 2022-23. If Ujiri has the luxury of being able to pick one of them, Young is the clear winner.
While older and less offensively proficient than Boucher at this stage of his career, Young’s selling point is his rebounding, defensive intensity, and ability to be a leader for a Toronto team still trying to find their way in the pros. Young will likely be less expensive than the younger Boucher.
Thad Young has tons of value for the Toronto Raptors.
While it might be tough to see a homegrown talent like Boucher leave, his inconsistency on the offensive end might be one factor that sends Ujiri closer to Young as the offseason ticks on. If you were to draw up an experienced glue guy on a board, it would look a lot like Young.
After more than a decade of quality play in the pros, Young might spurn the Raptors for a team that is more ready to chase a championship. The Raptors will not be betting against themselves for Young’s services, but the role they are offering him in Toronto is undoubtedly appealing.