The official start of the 2023-24 NBA Season is right around the corner and the Toronto Raptors didn’t really improve this offseason. The two key losses may out-factor the additions to the roster as it appears that the Raptors are coming close to a rebuild once again. Heading into the new campaign, there’s no real sense of direction… are they going to try to win or are they rebuilding?
During the offseason, there were reports that the Raptors were in the mix for Damian Lillard. We all know that the Raptors lost out as the Portland Trail Blazers agreed to the three-team deal that would send Lillard to Milwaukee.
There’s a new starting point guard in town. Schroeder is best known as a gap-filling player. Since his Atlanta days he has not played for a team longer than two years. He’s also not a great scoring guard. Last season, he averaged 12.6 points, 4.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds through 66 games.
Drafted with the No. 13 overall pick, the Raptors now have an overabundance of forwards. Dick is an excellent three-point shooter and has high basketball IQ. Though he may get challenged defensively at the NBA level. In the first preseason game, he didn’t look bad. He scored five points, three rebounds and one assist in 14 minutes.
It was expected that VanVleet would leave in Free Agency and that’s exactly what he did. When he signed with Houston, it appeared the Raptors could head towards a rebuild but they didn’t blow it up. They kept most of last years roster intact. VanVleet had become an important part of the Raptors roster over the seven years that he spent in Toronto.
Take out VanVleet, Insert in Schroeder and this is ideally the same exact starting lineup as last season. The young players like Anunoby and Barnes have another year under their belt, but you have to wonder if it’s enough to compete.
This is a very well-balanced second unit with both scoring and defense. Thats a recipe for success, if the Raptors shock everyone and contend.
It’s going to be hard for the Toronto Raptors to compete in a stacked Eastern Conference in 2023-24. With teams like Milwaukee, Boston and Miami all being heavy favorites. There’s also many teams on the rise in the East. I would expect the Raptors to be a middle-of-the-pack team in the Eastern Conference… going 47-35 and clinching either the No. 4 or 5 seed in the playoffs.
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