2. The bench will suffer
Lewenberg mentioned that Toronto is expected to clear salary elsewhere in order to afford both Poeltl and VanVleet. Apparently, this front office thinks that a team with one of the worst benches in the league last season will somehow be better with less bench scoring.
While trading Chris Boucher for a cheaper alternative could make sense, that may not be a path that Toronto wants to pursue. Otto Porter Jr. is not going to be viewed as an asset that is worth much of anything on the open market, and the team still has no viable backup point guard.
The Toronto Raptors won’t give Fred VanVleet a bench.
While Nick Nurse came under fire for playing VanVleet for nearly 40 minutes every single night and potentially exacerbating his injuries, he didn’t have much of a choice. There were no viable alternatives. This will continue if the Raptors use up all their financial flexibility on him.
While trading Pascal Siakam or OG Anunoby could help the Raptors get a tremendous return that fixes this issue, Ujiri has reportedly been saying no to trades centered around both of these players. Expect more of the same bench issues from the 2022-23 season to carry over.