3 reasons Toronto Raptors can earn a Top 4 seed in 2022-23

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 26: OG Anunoby #3 and Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 26: OG Anunoby #3 and Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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Otto Porter Jr, Toronto Raptors
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JANUARY 27: Toronto Raptors signing Otto Porter Jr. #32 of the Golden State Warriors (Photo by Kavin Mistry/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors were able to shatter expectations in their 2021-22 resurgence, as they won 48 games in a year where many thought they were going to end up in the lottery. Scottie Barnes winning Rookie of the Year and two insanely productive seasons from Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam set them apart.

Toronto earned the No. 5 seed last year. For most of the year, the top four spots were set firmly in stone. With the Miami Heat just ahead of the pack, the 76ers, Bucks, and eventual conference champion Celtics ended up in a three-way tie right behind them.

Toronto is not expecting to stay the course in 2022-23. Instead, Masai Ujiri expects them to hit the next stage in their climb back to contention. Making the postseason and earning a home playoff series would be an impressive stepping stone to reach.

The Raptors should be considered every bit as viable a threat to make it into the top four seeds as one of the 2021-22 holdovers. After a productive offseason, the Raptors have multiple reasons as to why they are ready to go on the attack and earn one of the top seeds in the conference.

3 reasons the Toronto Raptors can earn a Top 4 seed in 2022-23.

3. Timely offseason additions

The Raptors were an anomaly last year in that they managed to build a contending team without the use of a traditional center or a bench that was serviceable. In the first few days of free agency and during the 2022 NBA Draft, Masai Ujiri took steps to rectify those issues.

Otto Porter Jr. has the potential to be a legitimate scheme-changer for the Raptors, as his shooting ability and championship experience are both traits that will play well in Toronto’s scheme. Christian Koloko is raw offensively, but his defensive skill was sorely missed by Toronto last year.

The Toronto Raptors added some new players.

The retention of Thad Young and Chris Boucher in the early hours of the free agency frenzy played a significant role in preserving what little bench cohesion they had. Porter’s shooting and Koloko’s defense address the two most significant issues that handicapped this team in such a noticeable way last year.

In a race where only a handful of games separated the No. 2 seed from the No. 5 seed, getting a standout reserve like Porter and a big man with potential in Koloko could help slightly move the needle. With some better health from the starters, Toronto could hit the ground running.