The Toronto Raptors have been an exercise in frustration to begin the season. The team will go down by 20 points and then come back for a crazy victory one night, only to lay an egg in the next. Even the performances of players like Scottie Barnes haven’t been enough to get this team on the right track.
There is a ton of doom and gloom permeating the fanbase right now. The direction is still quite unclear, and the Raptors have been very open about giving this team a quarter of a season to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Even the most positive fan can be turned off by these results.
Still, in the spirit of the holiday season and in a time of giving thanks, it's worth taking a step back and looking at all the positives this team has going for them. There is the promise of a bright future ahead if the Raptors make good on their potential.
The Raptors have three impact players who should have roses thrown at their feet based on how they have performed this season. Toronto may not be a perfect team, but things would be so much worse if they didn't have any of these three on the current squad.
3 things the 2023-24 Toronto Raptors can be thankful for.
3. The emergence of Dennis Schroder
Things looked grim for this rotation after Fred VanVleet joined the Houston Rockets, but the Raptors acted quickly to sign Dennis Schroder on a two-year contract. While he has by no means been perfect, Schroder has been one of the of consistent scorers on this volatile team.
Schroder has averaged 16.9 points and 6.7 assists per game while making 46% of his shots, 39% of his 3-point attempts (on five attempts per game) and 86% of his free throws. Schroder has hit double digits in points in 13 of Toronto's 15 games this season, showing off the consistency that has made him such a valuable sparkplug.
The Toronto Raptors have gotten solid production from Dennis Schroder.
With Malachi Flynn's stock flying up and down like the most uneven roller coaster ever, Gary Trent Jr. playing the worst basketball of his Raptors tenure, and the guard depth around him lacking, Schroder has had to do fantastic things to give this team a fighting chance.
Fresh off a summer in which he carried Germany to a gold medal in the 2023 FIBA World Cup and earned MVP honors, Schroder has taken his positive momentum into the regular season. After some iffy seasons in LA, Schroder has rehabilitated his value by thriving in Toronto.