How good are the Toronto Raptors? Did they get better this offseason? Where do you expect them to finish in the Eastern Conference?
Added: Otto Porter Jr., Juancho Hernangomez
At this point, you can pretty much carve your expectations in stone for these Nick Nurse Raptors teams. They’re gonna be versatile, they’re gonna be tough and they’re gonna defend like maniacs. The Pascal Siakam-Fred VanVleet duo should continue to perform at an All-Star level, and the rotation is deep with useful NBA players. The key, though, is Scottie Barnes, and while the uber-talented 21-year-old impressed in his rookie season and has an undeniably terrific ceiling, I’m not sure he’s quite ready to assume the mantle of “#1 star on a contender” in just his second season. The Raptors are going to be an extremely difficult out, as always, but I think they’re one more season away from truly returning to Conference Finals contention.
The Raptors don’t have one of the five most talented teams in the East. But what they have is a top-tier coach, an overwhelming amount of length and a young star in Scottie Barnes who can take the next leap. Their wings are tailor-made to suffocate elite scoring wings (like in Boston), and they’ll be a strong regular season team due to their propensity to play in the open floor. We have questions about half-court production to win a playoff series, but the Raps should be a top-6 team in the East once again. Top-4 is realistic for them if Barnes quickly takes another step.
Toronto should be riding the line of Play-In team vs. playoff team, but not because of their talent. If anything, they are one of the more underrated teams in the East. They didn’t do too much to improve externally, but the internal improvements will be there. I expect them to finish as a top-six team, but rapid growth from the Cavs, Bulls, or Hawks could displace that.
You can pencil the Raptors into a play-in spot at the very least this year. All Nick Nurse does is win, and while he may be the most aggravating coach in the league to face off against, he gets results. Toronto didn’t make a ton of moves this offseason, but they did get slightly better, stealing Otto Porter from the defending champs. A large part of the Raptors’ success this season will be determined by the Year 2 leap Scottie Barnes makes. If he maintains his production from last season, Toronto will still be a tough matchup. If he takes the next step, things could start to get scary up North.
It all depends on how fast Scottie Barnes develops. Can he be a true number 1 in Toronto? That would vault them a level higher this season because they have a ton of high end rotation guys that any team would be happy to have on their squad. They have length and defense and very few holes. I still see a limited upside for this season, but they also have a high floor.
Should the Raptors make a trade this year to land a star player?
This poll is closed
Yes, consolidate some of this talent into a star
No, stay the course and let this group develop
Your turn. Are the Raptors good?