A year ago, it was unthinkable that the Toronto Raptors could post a 27-45 record. Of course, a lot of things were unthinkable a year ago, but the Raptors struggled mightily during the 2020-21 season, battling injuries, dealing with a home away from home and effectively punting the stretch run. The end result wasn’t as catastrophic as it could be, though, as the Raptors netted the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, opening some potential avenues through that premium asset.
Overall, Toronto is one of the more intriguing teams in the NBA as the offseason approaches, simply because they can go in numerous directions. Will they attempt to retain Kyle Lowry? Do they want to use the “down” season in 2020-21 to kick off a full-scale rebuild? Those are just two of the questions surrounding the Raptors, but they do have intriguing talents with Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby under contract, which is certainly helpful in any endeavor.
Roster Needs: Overall clarity, another starting-caliber wing, one more quality big
Scottie Barnes (No. 4 Overall), Grade: C-
Barnes is an interesting pick. The consensus pointed to Jalen Suggs, who I also had ranked ahead of Barnes on my personal board. At the same time, it isn’t as if Suggs is considered an absolute superstar, and Barnes does have intrigue as a versatile defender. Offensively, he is already an established high-end passer, which is rare at his size. The big question mark is that Barnes is virtually a non-shooter at this point, and that could limit his ceiling, even with potentially fantastic defense. It’s a bit higher than I think he should go, but Barnes is a talented player.
Rodney Hood (non-guaranteed)
Aron Baynes (non-guaranteed)
Chris Boucher (non-guaranteed)
DeAndre’ Bembry (non-guaranteed)
Yuta Watanabe (non-guaranteed)
Paul Watson (non-guaranteed)
Freddie Gillespie (non-guaranteed)
2021 Free Agents
Khem Birch (UFA)
Kyle Lowry (UFA)
Stanley Johnson (UFA)
Gary Trent Jr. (UFA)