Raptors projected starting lineup and rotation heading into preseason

Toronto Raptors, Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Raptors, Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

As free agency winds down and the rosters look set for training camps, the Toronto Raptors set their sights on the preseason. The Raptors had a hard offseason losing long-time Raptor and former NBA Champion Fred VanVleet.

Despite the brutal blow, the front office was able to retain rim protector Jakob Poeltl and pull Dennis Schroder away from the Lakers. The Raptors stole a player away from Nick Nurse and the rival 76ers when they used some of their leftover money to sign Jalen McDaniels as a bench piece.

So far, including the addition of Schroder, the front office has largely doubled down on running it back with many of the same stars from last season. However, how will the Schroder signing affect the depth chart come the preseason?

Outlined here is the team’s best starting lineup and rotation this fall, as this group could help the Raptores maximize their new additions while avoiding the Nurse-led team’s insistence on leaning on their starters.

The Projected Toronto Raptors Starting Lineup for the 2023-24 season

Point Guard: Scottie Barnes – Dennis Schroder

Shooting Guard: Gary Trent Jr. – Gradey Dick

Small Forward: OG Anunoby – Jalen McDaniels

Power Forward: Pascal Siakam – Chris Boucher

Center: Jakob Poeltl – Precious Achiuwa

The logical move is to make Barnes the starting point guard. Despite the concerns about his scoring efficiency as a ball handler, pushing him to the small forward begs the question of who to bench.

Gary Trent Jr. has improved as a shooter every season with the Raptors, and his floor spacing is essential to complement Barnes and Pascal Siakam’s offense. OG Anunoby is also a lights-out shooter, and you can’t put an All-NBA defender on the bench in his defensive prime.

The Raptors would also be foolish to bench either their franchise player in Siakam or their newly paid center in Jakob Poeltl.

Schroder is a great point guard and will be a productive player for the Raptors, but the Sixth Man position is perfect for him in this lineup. His playmaking numbers are great, but the Raptors cannot put another sub-par outside shooter in the lineup, or there will not be much playmaking at all.

Schroder shot 32.9% on 3.4 3-point attempts per game last season, and he has not been a league-average shooter since 2019-20. Pairing that with Scottie’s 28% three-point percentage and Siakam’s 32%, the Raptors will effectively have no spacing.

Their spacing will be in the hands of Dick and McDaniels, two new additions who promise to eat up tons of minutes and be impactful two-way players.

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