Now that the Cleveland Cavaliers have finished off Toronto in the Eastern Semis, the front office has some thinking to do regarding the team’s future. Here’s 3 reasons why the Raptors should flip their situation in the offseason:
1. Lack of a Real Superstar:
Despite DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry both making All-Star teams in their time with the Raptors, neither have ever fully catapulted themselves to superstardom for an extended period of time. The two thrive in the regular season but don’t have the juice to get it done in the postseason, year in and year out. Lowry is also now 32 years old and after a down year in terms of numbers could be looking at a shortened future as a top point guard in the league. For DeRozan, after an awful 8 point outing and late game benching in game 3 along with another poor effort on Monday, it’s even more possible the team looks to part ways with him. They’ve had years to fix their playoff woes and have yet to find a stride in the spring.
2. O.G. Anunoby:
After emerging as one of the steals of the NBA Draft during the regular season, Anunoby was much better than the box score showed in this year’s playoffs. His insane length on the defensive end combined with his offensive athleticism and surprising shooting ability makes him the most exciting young player on Toronto’s team. He’s not ready to take on a role as a lead scorer for a team but he should be a bigger part of the offense next season as the coaching staff expands his game over the summer. Taking on the task of being LeBron James’ primary defender as a rookie in the playoffs certainly will help develop him as a defender and get him ready for his sophomore year. He’s not a sure thing but he has the potential to be a Kawhi-like forward. Unlike most teams, Toronto can trade their lead guys and still have superstar talent on their team.
3. The Rise of Philly and Boston
It’s clearer now than ever that Philadelphia and Boston are on the come up in the East with multiple superstars on each team. This is just another reason Toronto has to think practically about their future. If these two teams haven’t already surpassed the Raptors in talent, they’ll be there in no time with both being contenders in the offseason with already elite teams. It’s likely we see the C’s and Sixers as the top two seeds in the East next season even if the Raptors don’t clean house. This would put Toronto into 3rd in their division at best and could begin their downfall to total mediocrity, which is exactly where you don’t want to be as a franchise. The Raptors should trade starters in the summer, experiment with young players as go-to guys next year, and build through the draft before delving into the middle of the pack in the East.