After the Toronto Raptors parted ways with names like Fred VanVleet in the offseason, Masai Ujiri let the world know that he is not above changing some previously immutable parts of this franchise in the name of finding a combination that gets this team back to the postseason.
The Raptors have just a few holdovers from the Dwane Casey or title-winning teams, which shows how quickly a strong foundation can erode. Due to the league’s fondness for what Ujiri built in the past, some of the most important names have found work elsewhere.
The rest of the league is full of former Raptors in positions of power. The band may never be getting back together, but the scraps of those squads have found new life. Aside from a few clunkers, the success rate for former Raptors elsewhere in the league is fairly high.
These three Raptors may not be in Toronto anymore, and they left with varying degrees of animosity attached from this fanbase, but all of them have managed to land in new spots while making the most of things early on in the 2023-24 campaign.
3 former Toronto Raptors thriving in 2023-24.
3. DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls
The Bulls are not playing too well right now, as they are on the fringes of selling off many of their more prized assets in Zach LaVine. DeRozan can at least claim to be cooking amid some tough circumstances, as he is one of the few things going well in Chicago.
DeRozan is averaging 21.2 points per game on 43% shooting despite the fact he has one of the worst benches in the league around him and a coach who is on the hot seat in Billy Donovan. While this is his lowest output in Chicago, the Bulls would be contending for the top pick without him.
Toronto Raptors great DeMar DeRozan is still a great scorer.
The Bulls may unload DeRozan and his contract if they begin a proper rebuild, and he has enough value to where a contender could realistically take a chance on him via a trade. DeRozan’s lethal midrange game is still there, and he could find his talents better expanded upon in a better system.
DeRozan gave his heart and soul to the Raptors, but he was unable to turn that into a championship. If any player in the league without a championship ring deserves to slip one on their finger, it’s him. Will the Bulls accommodate him if he keeps up his solid scoring?