1 Crucial goal for each member of the Raptors' young core next season

Big leaps do not come without a couple of baby steps, what side quests can this Raptors core embark on in their journey to the top?
Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors
Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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"Some way, somehow, we are going to have to be patient."

Masai Ujiri's response when asked how the Raptors will embrace the challenge of a rebuild gives us a lot of information about the front office mindset for the future. First, any considerations of a Kawhi-esque shakeup in the offseason are out of the window, and second, the Raptors are 100 percent invested in building around their young core.

So far, the three-headed monster of Barnes, Barrett, and Quickley (or BBQ) make up the primary foundation for the team going forward, with Gradey Dick and fellow Jayhawk Ochai Agbaji acting as secondary pieces. All five pieces have shown immense promise in their first season together, but in order to rise to the level of playoff contenders, progress cannot stop here.

This article will examine individual goals that each member of the Raptors core must pursue next season, factoring in team needs, player roles, and realism of achievability (i.e Gradey competing for DPOY).

Scottie Barnes: All-Defensive Team

The unanimous highlight of this otherwise dreadful season had to be the development of Scottie Barnes, as both a player and as a leader. In just his third year, Barnes' averages jumped to 19.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game, earning the 22 year old his first (and surely not the last) all-star appearance in his young career.

In no way is Scottie a below-average defender, in fact, he is the most versatile defender the Raptors currently have. His rare ability to guard one through five mixed with his elite rim protection instincts makes him a human-highlight reel on the defensive end. Still, Barnes has admitted that in order to improve, he must commit to becoming a consistently elite defender, substituting high-risk high reward plays for more efficient, conservative defense.

If managed, Scottie could become a elite two-way anchor on a team that admittedly lacks size in their point guard rotation and depth at the center position, which in turn could boost his odds of becoming an All-NBA player in the near future.