The Toronto Raptors were in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes until the bitter end. But KD and the Brooklyn Nets ultimately worked things out. The Raptors enjoyed a successful 2021-2022 campaign. But they were still well below the top teams in the Eastern Conference such as the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and Toronto Raptors. They feature positive talent but would have benefitted from make a few extra moves during the offseason. And with KD out of the picture, let’s take a look at the major move the Raptors needed to make in the 2022 NBA offseason.
Before discussing the move they should have made, here is a breakdown of their current roster.
The Raptors feature stars such as Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakim. Scottie Barnes made his presence known on the roster as well. OG Anunoby is a 25-year old with a high-ceiling. Gary Trent Jr impressed a season ago as well.
For Toronto, they have one of the most overlooked lineups in basketball. Their starting 5 has the talent to lead them to the playoffs. They combine shooting, playmaking, and rebounding which provides plenty of balance. Fred VanVleet is emerging as a reliable veteran with postseason experience. He’s arguably the most crucial part of their roster.
So did the Raptors truly need to make any moves? Yes.
The Raptors starting 5 looks great. But their depth could use some work. Players such as Malachi Flynn, Chris Boucher, and Svi Mykhailiuk highlight their second unit. One impressive addition Toronto made was bringing in Otto Porter Jr. Porter Jr played a big role in the Golden State Warriors NBA Finals run in 2021-2022. He will help the Raptors regardless of whether he starts or comes off the bench.
But other than Porter Jr, the Raptors could have added more depth. Their current bench isn’t bad. But if they want to upset the odds and join the likes of Miami, Milwaukee, and Boston, depth is key.
The Warriors, who won the Finals a season ago, have a star-studded roster. But the fact of the matter is that they would not have won the championship if they did not have a deep bench. Their depth stood out throughout the playoffs. It consistently kept opponents on their toes. Teams were unable to rest even when Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were out of the game because Jordan Poole would enter and keep the pressure on.
The Raptors should have added a pure scoring Sixth Man.
The Sixth Man is one of the leaders of a second unit. They have played vital roles for teams in past years. Jamal Crawford is remembered as one of the best Sixth Men ever. Jordan Poole was key for the Warriors last year. Tyler Herro won the Sixth Man of the Year award for the Miami Heat.
The Raptors would have benefitted from adding a player who could produce at a high offensive level off of the bench. That isn’t to say their current bench players can’t post big scoring numbers. But the Raptors don’t have that electric scoring Sixth Man capable of changing the dynamic of a game.
Tyler Herro was listed in trade rumors and would have made for a good addition to the team. Cameron Johnson of the Phoenix Suns would have been a valuable pickup if the Suns would have considered trading him.
In the end, the Raptors are still a talented team. But adding a true Sixth Man is the one major move they should have made over the 2022 offseason.
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