The Toronto Raptors are starting to get torn down. After a brutal 2022-23 season that saw them flame out of the Play-In, the team fired long-time coach Nick Nurse. It was a sign that things are about to change in Toronto. It seems like these changes also include a massive roster turnover. Scottie Barnes is apparently the only player safe in this upcoming wave of roster changes, per Josh Lewenberg. Everyone else needs to start packing in case they need to move ASAP.
“Outside of (Raptors star) Scottie Barnes, who is coming off a disappointing follow up to his Rookie of the Year campaign, everybody and everything is on the table as the off-season kicks into high gear ahead of the draft in late June and free agency at the beginning of July.”
The last few seasons have been a complete disappointment for the Raptors. They got a pass in 2020, as they were forced to play outside Canada for the entire season. 2021 seemed to be the start of something good for Toronto: with Scottie Barnes in tow, they marched to the playoffs. However… 2022 saw nearly the entire team regress heavily, eventually falling to the Bulls in the Play-In.
A rebuild is perhaps a good option for the Raptors at this point. A core of Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby seems to have a ceiling of a second-round exit at best. Trading these players while they still have value is the best option if they want to enter a rebuild. This scenario will likely have Barnes be the centerpiece of the new Raptors roster.
The Raptors are approaching a crossroads for the 2023-24 season. Do they run this core back one more time with a new coach, fully believing that Nurse’s approach was the problem? Or do they start over from scratch and see what they can recoup for their stars?
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