The Toronto Raptors will be one of the most-watched teams in the offseason, which is not what this franchise is used to. Masai Ujiri’s terrific 2021-22 campaign was followed by a bitterly disappointing season that prompted some serious organizational change.
The Raptors’ 41-41 season doesn’t sound awful in a vacuum, but when you consider that winning 41 games was a minor miracle and the fact that the season ended on a choke job at home in the play-in tournament, the club parting ways with coach Nick Nurse looks more understandable.
The Raptors need to alter the construction of this team, as the current loadout was so ineffective that even multiple All-Stars and an All-NBA talent in the starting lineup weren’t even enough to get over .500. The good news is that Toronto’s issues are all very obvious and fixable.
The Raptors will likely operate on the basis that they will be able to bring back Jakob Poeltl and one of either Gary Trent Jr. or Fred VanVleet. Even with some of their big names returning, these three team needs being checked off would greatly improve the roster.
3 biggest Toronto Raptors team needs.
3. A backup point guard
We will talk about this issue until Ujiri does something about it. At the risk of beating a dead horse, Toronto’s poor support of Fred VanVleet last year forced Nick Nurse to throw him out there for close to 40 minutes all the time in largely meaningless regular season games.
Jeff Dowtin Jr. showed promise, but Toronto didn’t think enough of him to give him a proper NBA contract when push came to shove right before the playoffs. Malachi Flynn looks like the same exact player that he was out of San Diego State (read: that is bad), and Dalano Banton is not quite there offensively.
The Toronto Raptors must add a guard.
Toronto has been linked to many of the top point guards that will be available in the back end of the 2023 NBA Draft lottery, including Baylor’s volatile Keyonte George and Kentucky’s Cason Wallace. If the Raptors land a player of that caliber, this issue could be solved overnight.
If they don’t, they could manage to land a proven veteran who can hold his own on the offensive end without breaking the bank. With Toronto likely willing to do whatever it takes to retain Fred VanVleet, making sure that 2022-23 and the lack of depth that year highlighted never gets repeated should be very important for Ujiri.