It would be rather easy to have some mixed thoughts on what the Toronto Raptors had managed to achieve last season on the basketball court.
However, there will be many that will be looking ahead to the upcoming 2022/23 season that will be expecting a lot more from the only Canadian team in the NBA, especially if they are able to accomplish certain things in the current offseason.
In this article, we will take a look at what the expectations can be for next season and provide some early predictions, while we will also look at what could potentially help them enjoy a successful year, too.
As highlighted, there will be some that will have some rather mixed feelings regarding what the Toronto Raptors had managed to achieve last season.
The team managed to obtain a winning record of 48-34 which was good enough to get them to finish fifth in an incredibly competitive Eastern Conference, thus allowing them to progress to the NBA postseason. Of course, that run came to an end before it even got started as they crashed out to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round inside six games.
Some will suggest that the team has, therefore, shown that it is strong enough to be a contender and compete for a spot in the sport’s playoffs, with players like Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes – who was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year – having career years for the Canadian organization. However, it does also appear, though, that when the pressure is on, the core of the roster does not seem to be able to get them over the line when it matters.
Indeed, qualifying from the tough Eastern Conference is something that needs to be applauded, as Nick Nurse’s team certainly managed to accomplish a feat that some may not have expected at certain portions of the campaign. However, when you have a core that includes Siakam, Barnes, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and Gary Trent, then perhaps the team ought to have anyways.
However, when you take into account the core roster that the Canadian franchise has, then it is hardly a surprise that there are so many expecting bigger things from the team that they support. Clearly, there is plenty of talent on the squad list, with each of the players mentioned above being among some of the best in the NBA at the moment.
The problem that some, though, appear to have identified is in regard to trying to work out how they can each take a step forward and compete in the postseason once they qualify for the playoffs.
Indeed, there are many Canadians and Americans who regularly place bets on the Toronto Raptors that will be pondering the same questions at the moment.
As punters continue to explore the TonyBet Sports betting odds that are made available for the NBA games the team plays, they will be wondering what it is going to take to see the organization power through and finally come out trumps at a time when it really matters.
For some who wager on the franchise, it is unquestionable that new talent is required to be brought into the Scotiabank Arena this offseason, with the team clearly lacking experience and perhaps even an individual who has been around the league and knows everything they need to about the NBA.
Kevin Durant could be a name that the Raptors decide to explore potential options in this offseason, though.
The veteran has been linked with a trade to the Canadian team after requesting a move away from the Brooklyn Nets after a disaster of a year that also ended in the first round of the NBA playoffs – a 4-0 whitewashing at the hands of NBA Finalists Boston Celtics.
There is no doubt that Durant would be a welcome addition to the Raptors. Dubbed one of the purest scorers in the NBA over the last couple of decades, there is no doubt that he would be able to improve the organization’s offense immediately and give them the star talent that is potentially needed to become another NBA Champion.
However, the biggest problem that would face the franchise, though, is that it would cost them and he is hardly going to be cheap.
According to reports, while he wants a trade out of the Nets, Brooklyn are not going to be backed into a corner regarding the situation and will be looking to come out of any potential deal on top, knowing full well that they have one of the biggest stars in the sport.
It has been claimed they have a desire to receive “one of the biggest trade returns in league history,” and there is every chance that this could cost the Raptors dearly. For instance, it would not be a surprise if they had to give up one or even two names that form their core.
You could potentially see Barnes, Siakam, or even both of them need to be included in any trade package to bring Durant to the Scotiabank Arena. Indeed, the Raptors would need to ask themselves if a trade at this size is worth going for at the moment.
If the Toronto Raptors were to have a successful NBA season next year, then they might have to strongly consider all of their options in regard to pursuing a potential trade for Durant this offseason. There is no denying that he has the star quality, but it could come at a huge cost that may make winning an NBA Championship even more difficult.
Indeed, if they manage to keep all of their core together and they are able to compete as well as they did in the previous season, then there is no reason to suggest a successful year can be on the cards, but they will need to improve immensely to ensure they do not suffer the same first-round fate that they experienced against the 76ers again.