The Toronto Raptors introduced two of their three significant offseason acquisitions, as they officially agreed to terms with center Jakob Poeltl on a four-year contract and Jalen McDaniels on a two-year deal. The two were asked very different questions in their first media availability of the 2023 offseason.
McDaniels seems to be very excited about the prospect of playing for new head coach Darko Rajakovic. “I haven’t talked to him yet, but [in] his style of play at Memphis, everybody touches the ball, shares the ball,” McDaniels said. “It should be fun out there.”
Poeltl, meanwhile, was quizzed on the poor vibes last season and the departure of Fred VanVleet. Poeltl seemed to be a bit sad that his pick-and-roll partner is gone, but he thinks that the team will recover nicely.
“I would have liked to keep playing with Fred. He was definitely a big part of my success in Toronto,” Poeltl said. “That’s the NBA. You’re going to have free agency, you’re going to have trades, you’re going to have change midseason, and you’re just going to have to roll with the punches…I still think we have a really talented team.”
More Raptors news
- McDaniels chose to wear No. 2 for the Raptors, donning the same number that Kawhi Leonard wore during his lone tremendous season with the club. Poeltl will sport the same No. 19 he took when he arrived in Toronto via trade, while Markquis Nowell will wear No. 24 with his college No. 1 taken by Gradey Dick.
- John Hollinger of the Athletic, who penned an article calling Toronto the biggest losers of the 2023 offseason following the loss of Fred VanVleet, said that other front offices are feeling “exasperation” when discussing trades with the Raptors. Fans want deals to be made, but Masai Ujiri is going to make sure he gets as much value as possible.
- The Raptors saw one of their rivals, the Boston Celtics, say goodbye to a respected bench player. Grant Williams ended up with the Dallas Mavericks via a sign-and-trade, as the former first-round pick inked a four-year, $53 million contract that helped him become one of Luka Doncic’s top running mates.
- The Damian Lillard trade saga continues to drag on without much in terms of a concrete resolution. The Miami Heat are Lillard’s clear top destination, so much so that Lillard has been demanding that his agent help facilitate a trade, but Portland might not be willing to take one of Miami’s packages.