Despite the best efforts of Masai Ujiri and the rest of the Toronto Raptors front office, the squad is entering the 2023-24 season under a cloud of negativity. Between all of the uncertainty and organizational change, things have the potential to fall apart completely.
The Raptors lost Fred VanVleet for nothing, parted ways with the only coach to win a championship with this franchise, and hired an unknown alleged culture changer in Darko Rajakovic. Pair that with multiple missed opportunities to either rebuild or go for it all, and things feel weird around this team.
Raptors fans don’t want to go into this season expecting everything to be doom and gloom all year. After all, they did win 41 games last season, added a dynamic young rookie, and will install a more egalitarian, offensive-minded approach to the game. Perk up!
The Raptors are banking on shocking the world with a collection of young players that Toronto had drafted and developed. The Raptors should go into this season leaning on these three positive developments that can make Rajakovic’s debut season one to remember.
3 reasons for hope after the Toronto Raptors miss on Damian Lillard.
3. Gradey Dick’s debut
While the Raptors could have picked a point guard, given the abundance of players at that position in this class. Instead, they believed in Dick’s shooting ability so strongly that they decided to pick him at No. 13 overall and make him one of the cornerstones of this team’s future.
Dick has some flaws that need to be ironed out, mostly on the defensive end due to limited lateral athleticism and a very skinny frame. What can’t be denied is the fact that he is an elite shooter who is on the cusp of becoming a reliable double-digit scorer in the league.
Gradey Dick could be a huge boost for the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors will throw Dick right into the fire in what will be his debut season, as Toronto needs as many shooters as possible to help Rajakoivc build a team that will actually have some teeth on the offensive side of the ball. The sky is the limit if he catches up physically.
Beyond his skill form deep, Dick has shown flashes of being a high-end rim-rocker with some surprising verticality. While he may not be a heliocentric star like Barnes could end up becoming, it’s hard to look at Dick and not see a future star if he is developed correctly.