As Christmas Day ticks ever closer, Masai Ujiri and rest of the Toronto Raptors need to hope that all of their missteps in the last few years are enough to help NBA Santa drop some goodies in their stocking instead of yet another lump of proverbial coal.
Any Raptors fans radiating holiday cheer have a positive attitude the rest of us should envy. With a season that has been dominated by missed potential, losing, and uncertainty, anyone looking at this team with a positive mindset embody the kind of attitude the holiday season requires.
The Raptors may not be able to change their fortunes entirely in just the span of a few weeks, but there is still a chance, as fleeting as it may be, that a very maligned Toronto team can exit the holiday break with some renewed vigor and a better idea of how to build a winner.
If the Raptors managed to avoid ending up on the proverbial naughty list (which it seems they haven't been averse to in the last few years), they could end up turning things around slightly. The Raptors' hopes for the post-holiday season hinge on getting one of these three gifts.
3 Christmas presents the Toronto Raptors want to see under the tree.
3. A new-look Gradey Dick
The Raptors and their fanbase came into the season with the expectation of Dick becoming a knockdown shooter that could instantly give life to a below-average bench. Instead, Dick has needed a ton of extra seasoning due to some generally lackluster results when he was on the floor.
Dick has spent most of his professional career down in the G League, and not even that has been smooth sailing. Dick has struggled with efficiency at both levels, showing that his game was not as much of a surefire bet to translate to the NBA as previously indicated.
Gradey Dick needs to step up for the Toronto Raptors.
Dick's 3-point show was dynamite at Kansas, and he could be an immediate rotation player for a bad Raptors offense if he was able to get his jumper back on track. The Raptors have talked up and down about the idea of Dick being a long-term piece for this franchise.
At just 20 years old, it's fair to let Dick develop a bit after attending chemistry class and a pep rally just a few years ago. If he turns into the player Toronto thinks he could become, a Raptors team that is swimming upstream might end up finally getting the jolt they need on the offensive side of the ball.