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Toronto Raptors News: What moves will the Raptors make this off-season?


Who will the Raptors draft in the first round? What free agents will they pursue?

The Toronto Raptors revamped their roster this season, signalling a clear intent to return to playoff contention as soon as next season. Despite setbacks like injuries and chemistry issues, they’re aiming to bounce back strong. Making the right moves in the upcoming draft and free agency could swiftly propel them back into the mix, possibly even securing a spot in the Play-In tournament next season. So, what is the latest Toronto Raptors news?What moves will the Raptors make this off-season?

As we know, this season was a rollercoaster ride of change for Raptor fans, which kicked off with a new coach. During summer the team bid farewell to stalwarts like Freddy, then witnessed the departures of O.G and Pascal through trades near the trade deadline. What was once the backbone of their 2019 championship squad – coaches included – now stands replaced, with Canadian talents like R.J. Barrett and the dynamic point guard, Quickly, spearheading the charge alongside a promising ensemble cast. Let’s not mince words: this rendition of the Toronto Raptors is a far cry from their former glory days in the NBA. However, every move orchestrated by the front office, every calculated trade, serves a grander vision of rejuvenation, prioritizing youth over exorbitant paychecks. While the present may seem bleak, there’s a glimmer of hope in the potential brewing within the team’s ranks.

Toronto Raptors Draft Picks 2024; Projected Picks

  • Round 1, Pick No. 6
  • Round 1, Pick No. 17 (from IND)
  • Round 2, Pick No. 31 (from DET)

As the 2024 draft looms, scouts and pundits alike brand it a lacklustre affair, devoid of a standout superstar akin to Victor Wembanyama in 2023 or a cadre of elite talents like Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, and Jabari Smith Jr. in 2022. With the absence of clear-cut frontrunners, teams face a murky landscape, teetering on the brink of uncertainty. Such a flat draft ushers in a wave of difficult decisions, especially for those perched at the summit. It’s a realm ripe for upheaval, reminiscent of the chaos unleashed in 2013 when the unsuspecting Anthony Bennett snagged the coveted No. 1 spot.

What moves will the Raptors make this offseason?

Should The Raptors Draft Canadian Zach Edey

Zach Edey, photo by Alexander Jones CC BY-SA 2.0

For certain fans, the upcoming draft represents the culmination of years of meticulous research, sifting through countless mock drafts and devouring myriad YouTube highlight reels in a quest to identify the ideal pick for their beloved team.

Yet, for the more laid-back observers of Raptors draft affairs, there’s a towering figure who commands attention both literally and metaphorically: none other than Toronto native and reigning NCAA Player of the Year, Purdue’s 7-foot-4 center, Zach Edey. With a chance to potentially defend his title in the upcoming NCAA awards ceremony, Edey’s colossal presence on the court harks back to a bygone era.

Zach Edey’s Senior Season

While modern NBA discourse often revolves around the likes of Wembanyama and Holmgren, celebrated for their agility and shooting prowess, Edey offers a different breed of dominance. Though his three-point attempts in college can be counted on one hand, his senior season has been nothing short of monstrous, boasting averages of 24.5 points and 12.1 rebounds. Edey’s sheer physical advantages are undeniable, a fact not lost on those who’ve witnessed his exploits firsthand.

“He’s a legend over there [at Purdue],” remarked OKC Thunder forward Lu Dort, a teammate of Edey’s during Canada’s historic bronze medal run at last year’s FIBA World Cup. Dort, throwing his support behind Purdue’s NCAA title bid, eagerly anticipates Edey’s transition to the NBA, despite lingering questions about his fit in today’s game.

Canadian Talent

While opinions among NBA draft pundits vary wildly, with projections ranging from the mid-first round to outside the top 40, there’s one undeniable truth: consensus eludes Edey. Yet, if the Raptors harbour ambitions of bringing the hometown hero back, the opportunity beckons. Their track record speaks volumes, demonstrating a penchant for investing in Canadian talent, as evidenced by recent acquisitions like RJ Barrett and Kelly Olynyk.

Edey’s Detractors

With the potential for three picks in their arsenal, the Raptors hold the keys to Edey’s NBA destiny, whether through direct selection or shrewd maneuvering on draft night. Former Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, who mentored Edey during his tenure with the Canadian national team, praises the big man’s endurance and conditioning, underscoring his readiness for the rigors of professional basketball.

As Purdue coach Matt Painter fires back at Edey’s detractors, one thing becomes abundantly clear in the realm of basketball discourse, overlooking Edey’s potential is a mistake not to be taken lightly.

LeBron and Bronny?

While the idea of LeBron James signing with the Raptors might seem intriguing, especially if his son, Bronny James, were to be drafted by Toronto, several factors would need to align for such a scenario to occur.

Firstly, LeBron James would need to be at a stage in his career where joining a team like the Raptors makes sense. While LeBron has shown a willingness to prioritize his family’s well-being and career opportunities, his decision to join a team would likely hinge on his pursuit of championships and the quality of the team’s roster and management.

Secondly, the Raptors would need to have the cap space and roster flexibility to accommodate LeBron’s contract demands. Signing a player of LeBron’s caliber typically requires significant financial resources, and the Raptors would need to weigh the impact of such a signing on their long-term plans and salary cap situation.

Finally, LeBron’s own desires and priorities would play a crucial role in any potential decision to join the Raptors. While the opportunity to play alongside his son could be a compelling factor, LeBron would also need to consider other factors such as his family’s comfort, the team’s competitiveness, and his own personal and professional goals.

NBA Free Agents Available

Another way the Raptors could improve is through free agency. Below is a look at some of the NBA players who will be top free agents. Will these free agents go boom or bust?

Paul George:

Despite his injury history and advancing age, George remains a top-tier two-way wing. His scoring prowess and defensive impact could elevate the Raptors’ game. However, his hefty price tag and injury risk might deter the Raptors from pursuing him, especially considering their focus on rebuilding with younger talent.

LeBron James:

LeBron James 2022, photo by Erik DrostCC BY 2.0, wikicommons

The allure of adding a player of LeBron’s caliber is undeniable. His scoring, playmaking, and leadership could instantly transform the Raptors into contenders. However, his astronomical salary demands, and age might not align with the Raptors’ long-term strategy.

James Harden:

Harden still boasts elite playmaking skills and scoring ability, making him an attractive option for the Raptors. His floor leadership could galvanize the team. However, concerns about his declining athleticism and defensive liabilities could temper enthusiasm for his acquisition.

DeMar DeRozan:

Demar DeRozan, photo by Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USACC BY-SA 2.0,

DeRozan’s proficiency in midrange scoring could provide a valuable offensive boost if he returns to the Raptors. His veteran experience and leadership qualities could also benefit the team. However, his limited three-point shooting, and potential salary demands might not align with the Raptors’ roster needs and financial flexibility.

Klay Thompson:

Thompson’s uncertain trajectory post-injury makes him a risky investment. While he retains the potential to be a game-changer on certain nights, questions linger about his durability and shooting consistency. The Raptors may hesitate to commit significant resources to an uncertain asset.

Jonas Valanciunas:

Valanciunas offers a traditional big man presence in the paint, providing scoring and rebounding. However, his defensive limitations and diminishing impact on modern NBA schemes might not justify a sizable investment from the Raptors.

Russell Westbrook:

Westbrook’s versatility and tenacity on both ends of the floor could inject energy into the Raptors’ lineup. However, concerns about his shooting efficiency and fit within the team’s system could prompt caution in pursuing him.

Andre Drummond:

Drummond’s rebounding prowess could shore up the Raptors’ interior defense. However, his limited offensive skill set, and defensive liabilities might not warrant a significant investment from the Raptors.

Kevin Love:

Kevin Love, photo by Erik Drost CC BY 2.0,

Love’s championship experience and shooting ability could provide valuable depth for the Raptors’ frontcourt. However, his defensive shortcomings and injury history might make him a risky proposition.

Bismack Biyombo:

Biyombo’s shot-blocking and rebounding skills could bolster the Raptors’ defensive presence in the paint. However, his offensive limitations and declining athleticism might limit his impact on the court.

Ultimately, while each free agent presents unique strengths and weaknesses, the Raptors must carefully weigh their fit within the team’s long-term vision and financial constraints. Pursuing a balance between veteran leadership and youthful talent will be crucial in charting the Raptors’ course towards contention.

Who the Raptors are Likely To Pursue

Given the Raptors’ strategic focus on youth development and financial prudence, they are more likely to target free agents who align with their rebuilding trajectory and offer value without compromising long-term flexibility. Here’s a breakdown of potential targets:

DeMar DeRozan:

DeRozan’s ties to the Raptors organization and his scoring ability make him an intriguing option. His midrange game and veteran leadership could provide a valuable offensive boost while serving as a mentor for younger players. The Raptors could explore a short-term deal that fits their salary structure.

Russell Westbrook:

Westbrook’s tenacity and playmaking could address the Raptors’ need for a dynamic floor leader. While his fit within the team’s system is a question mark, his impact on both ends of the floor could be enticing. The Raptors might consider pursuing Westbrook on a short-term contract if the price is right.

Kevin Love:

Love’s championship experience and floor-spacing ability could benefit the Raptors’ frontcourt rotation. His willingness to accept a reduced role and mentorship of younger players could align with the Raptors’ culture. Toronto could explore a cost-effective deal with incentives based on performance and availability.

Bismack Biyombo:

Biyombo’s shot-blocking and defensive presence could bolster the Raptors’ interior depth. His familiarity with the organization and willingness to embrace a limited role make him a potential target for a veteran minimum contract or a modest deal.

While these options present varying degrees of fit and risk, the Raptors’ approach will likely prioritize short-term commitments that complement their young core while maintaining flexibility for future roster moves. Ultimately, their pursuit of free agents will hinge on aligning with their strategic vision and maximizing value within their financial constraints.

Final Thoughts

While the Toronto Raptors navigate the offseason landscape, they do so with a clear vision for the future. The conclusion of the 2023-2024 season marks not just the end of a tumultuous chapter but also the beginning of a new era defined by strategic rebuilding and youth development.

With the upcoming draft offering multiple early-round picks, the Raptors can infuse their roster with fresh talent. While the absence of standout prospects may present challenges, it also opens the door for shrewd decision-making and calculated risks.

In considering potential free agent targets, the Raptors must balance immediate impact with long-term sustainability. Players like DeMar DeRozan, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, and Bismack Biyombo offer intriguing possibilities, each bringing unique skills and experiences that could complement the team’s evolving identity.

Ultimately, the Raptors’ pursuit of success hinges on their ability to navigate the complexities of the offseason with foresight and adaptability. Whether through the draft, free agency, or internal development, the Raptors remain steadfast in their commitment to building a sustainable contender for years to come. As they embark on this journey, one thing is certain the Raptors are primed to rise from the challenges of the past season and emerge stronger than ever before.

bronny By Eleven Warriors – Lebron “Bronny” James Jr., CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=86250580

Myles Shane

by Myles Shane

Other articles from totimes.ca – otttimes.ca – mtltimes.ca

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