Toronto Raptors: 10 Bold Predictions for the Offseason
The Raptors ended off the season on a bad note, but they entered the season with low expectations.
At the beginning of the season, they seemed as if they would pass expectations, as they started off 7-9, but slowly started losing and went on a 14 game losing streak which effectively ended their season.
The off-season has had its ups and downs for the Raptors in previous seasons, the worst being last season when Bosh left to team up with LeBron and D-Wade.
This off-season the Raptors try to rebuild. Although they were technically rebuilding from last season, the staff and management have found who they will build around for this young team.
Raptors Will Name Jarryd Bayless Starting PG
At the start of the season, Jose Calderon was the starting PG. It stayed like that for the main part of the season, but when Calderon went down with injury, Bayless emerged as a great player.
Much like the Maple Leafs, Toronto's hockey team, injuries were actually something positive for the young guns waiting for their chance to shine.
As a whole, when Bayless was the starting PG, he averaged 21 PPG and dished out about six assists. These numbers are some of the best offensive stats coming from a point guard not named Chris Paul, Derick Rose, Deron Williams or Russel Westbrook.
Bayless has a score first mentality, but he will adapt to the passing game eventually, and with the mentoring of Jose Calderon, could lead to possibly eight assists per game.
Bayless just plays better as a starter
Andrea Bargnani Will Remain on Team, Be Starting PF
Andrea Bargnani has had his ups and downs throughout his career.
At times he can be a the biggest offensive threat in the league, and at other times, he can be one of the most inconsistent players. His defense and rebounding are also some of the worst aspects of his game.
Many players have put into their heads that Bargnani should just be traded and replaced with someone useful in the paint.
If he plays PF, he will have less pressure to grab rebounds, which might actually bring his rebounding numbers up, much like when Bosh was on the team and Bargnani did hustle for the ball.
Raptors Will Pursue UFA's Tyson Chandler and Nene
The Raptors are in need of some post presence on both offense and defense against opposing Centers. Bargnani can play in the post, but does not seem to like it, so he prefers to shoot, but it works for him.
On defense, it is a different problem. Tyson Chandler is one of the best defensive centers in this league, and Nene is consistent on both offense and defense.
If one of these players is added, Toronto's frontcourt is automatically improved in both offense and defense.
Raptors Will Pursue RFA's Greg Oden and Marc Gasol
Now there is a picture you don't see often. Greg Oden in a basketball jersey, but when healthy, he can be a great basketball player offensively and defensively.
Much like Tyson Chandler and Nene, both these players will add the same effect that the other two will. The same explanation from the previous slide is what these two players will bring.
The only difference is that they are RFA's, which means it will be harder to sign them and bring them to Toronto.
Also Greg Oden is injury prone, so he might be a bad choice.
If Raptors Get First or Second Pick, They Use It and Select Derick Williams
Derick Williams is ensured a top two pick in this years draft.
Since almost all the other good prospects have stayed in college due to a chance of there being a lockout, there is only Derrick Williams and Kyrie Irving, with the rest of the top prospects similar to Andrea Bargnani.
If Raptors Get Something Other Than First or Second Pick, Trade Pick Away
As mentioned previously, the draft is not that strong after the first two picks, although there is the likes of Alec Burks, Enes Kanter, etc.
The Raptors can easily trade this pick along with someone such as Jose Calderon or Andrea Bargnani to bring in someone who is a very good player. Not a superstar player, but someone who is above average, along with some extras that could be good role players.
DeMar DeRozan Will Improve His Jumpshot over the Summer, Making Him a 25 PPG Guy
DeMar DeRozan started off the season on a slow note, but eventually found his game and exploded offensively and defensively.
He used his instincts to steal the ball with ease, and he has understood how to get more points by driving in and drawing fouls. He does have the problem of trying to be like Kobe Bryant at times, which does not go so well.
He has shown signs of improvement in his jumpshot, but I have read that DeRozan has said he will improve his jumper. He most probably will bring in a trainer or do so himself.
He will work on his jumpshot, and with an improved jumpshot, has more ways he can score, which means more points every game, which leads to All-Star status
Reggie Evans Will Not Be Back (Unfortunately)
The Raptors need cap space to sign the big name free agents that will help this team. If they want to help this team, they need to get rid of Reggie Evans.
He has been a great leader and has been the reason the Raptors rebounding has been the way it had been this past season.
His veteran presence had been worth it for the Raptors, but his $5 million expiring contract is not worth renewing. The $5 million is worth way more for signing other players that are younger and more beneficial to this team.
I love Reggie Evans because he shows so much passion and heart on the hardwood.
IF we were to sign him back (hopefully) we would only wish we could get him for cheap but keep his leadership at 100%
Bryan Colangelo has done a very good job as the General Manager of Toronto. He took them back to the playoffs, even if it was short lived, and he was the mastermind behind the Atlantic division winning team back in 06-07.
The past couple of years have not been great for Colangelo, with the only positives being the drafting of DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis along with the removal of Hedo Turkoglu.
There have been numerous rumors that Colangelo is out, and it might just be true this off-season.
Kevin Pritchard in
Kevin Pritchard may as well be known as the guy who single-handedly made the Portland Trail Blazers a perennial contender. He basically stole LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy from the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves, respectively.
He made the smart trades that have made Portland what they are right now.
If Raptors are smart enough, they will bring in this guy to change everything. He knows how to build a team and would make the Raptors the team they were back in the early 2000's.
All these have a high possibility of happening, and every single one of these moves will benefit the Toronto Raptors in one way or another.
This team has one of the best young cores in the league and within a couple of years, they can become annual playoff contenders, eventual championship contenders, and last but not least, eventual champions.
Thanks for reading!