The Toronto Raptors made some positive strides in the right direction in 2021-22, as the team won 48 games just a few months removed from earning the No. 4 overall pick. Nick Nurse and Masai Ujiri appear to have flipped the proverbial page, shifting to more of a win-now philosophy.
The Raptors have one of the more intriguing young cores in the Eastern Conference. Still, it’s not unreasonable to have a few doubts about their viability to transform into a no-doubt contender eventually. The holes on this roster are pretty obvious.
Part of the reason that Toronto was constantly featured in trade rumors in the offseason was speculation that this team needs to make one more big trade to reinvent how this team operates. One insider believes a huge trade or two could be in the Raptors’ future if they put up another postseason dud.
Doug Smith of the Toronto Star said that the front office could completely remake the roster if the Raptors lose in the first round of the playoffs for the second season in a row. Smith said that Ujiri and Bobby Webster are patient executives, but they see how the winds are blowing in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto Raptors trade rumors: Will Masai Ujiri blow up the roster?
Considering how contenders like the Nets, Bucks, and 76ers have superstars locked up for the next few seasons, the top dogs in the East will not go away. If this core starts to flatline, Ujiri certainly has a history of scrapping his previous plans in favor of someone who can be an immediate short-term upgrade.
With Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, and Gary Trent Jr. potentially getting new contracts in the next few seasons, giving them those new deals means that Ujiri will be inexorably tied to this starting lineup. If the Raptors go three straight seasons without reaching the second round, Ujiri may lose confidence in this group.
Smith added that the front office will give this team around 20-25 games without any sort of drastic trade or rotation move before they start to reevaluate the team. With the Victor Wembanyama tank in full swing and dozens of attractive trade targets out there, this deadline could be very busy for Toronto.
While we are a long way away from ultimately setting fire to this roster, the front office seems to be transitioning away from the good vibes rebuilding phase. Postseason success is expected in this organization, and a lack of headway being made in this area will set alarm bells off.