A Look Into The Offseason: The Toronto Raptors

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Feb 3, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (3) brings the ball up the court against the Miami Heat at the Air Canada Centre. The Heat beat the Raptors 100-85. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors were deadly on offense but middle of the pack on defense. The Raptors were fourth in the NBA in total offense and 19th in the NBA in total defense. They were consistent from the foul line making 79% of their foul shots which was second in the NBA. They were led by the man pictured above, Kyle Lowry. Lowry averaged 17.8 points and 6.8 assists per game over 70 games and kept the Raptors consistent for a majority of the season. They took a dip in their consistency when DeMar DeRozan wen’t down but he returned late in the season. The Raptors still had enough talent to make the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference. They ended up as the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference but were embarrassed by the Washington Wizards in the first round of the playoffs. The Raptors need a power forward and a third star to be a top three team in the Eastern Conference. Lets see who could be playing up north next season.

Trade Targets

PF Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets

faried

Kenneth Faried has requested a trade from the Denver Nuggets if the team decides to rebuild. After watching the Nuggets fall apart this season I believe the Nuggets will try to rebuild. That puts Faried on the block. The Toronto Raptors are perfect trade partners. Faried is a fast and athletic power forward which the Raptors are lacking. Amir Johnson will be a free agent so power forward needs to be addressed. DeMar DeRozan, and Kenneth Faried played for the US National Basketball team so they have some chemistry. Adjusting to the cold weather wouldn’t effect Faried.

Trade Away

SF Terrance Ross, Toronto Raptors

TORONTO, CANADA - DECEMBER 17:  Terrence Ross #31 of the Toronto Raptors shoots the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the game on December 17, 2014 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

Terrance Ross is a young, cheap player that has showed spurts of greatness over his young career. Since he is only 24 years old he is enticing to a young team that is trying to rebuild. He is expendable because the Raptors have DeMar DeRozan as their primary scorer. The Raptors need one more piece to be a contender in the Eastern Conference.  When DeRozan was out earlier in the season Ross didn’t step up as expected. He averaged less then 10 points per game but still has room for improvement. He could be the centerpiece in a Kenneth Faried deal.

Draft

PF Montrezl Harrell, Louisville

harrell

Montrezl Harrell is an absolute beast. He is a true power forward standing 6’8″ and 230 pounds. He is a workhorse on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. He has hustle to help Kyle Lowry on the fast break and will help back on defense. The Raptors need help on defense and Harrell will help. He is a ravenous rebounder that is always there to grab offensive rebounds. He reminds me of Kenneth Faried who I talked about earlier. If they can’t acquire Faried, Harrell is a nice option around the middle of the draft.

PF Christian Wood, UNLV

christian wood

Christian Wood is an offensive forward that plays as a stretch four. He is 6’11” with a 7’3″ wingspan. He is a smooth passer and runner that is good at advancing the ball on the fast break. He can handle the ball that is a threat in the open court. He is deadly when he can go coast to coast and isn’t afraid to do so. He is very skinny only weighing 200 pounds. He will need to add size to thrive in the NBA. He would be picked earlier then projected if he went #20 to the Raptors. His offensive potential is perfect for the Raptors offensive system.

Free Agency

SG Louis Williams, Toronto Raptors

Jan 10, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Louis Williams (23) shoots as Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley (0) defends at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Boston 109-96. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Louis Williams was the bench scorer that dominated for the Raptors. He averaged nearly 16 points per game and was a sniper behind the three point line. He won the 6th man of the year award and will attract almost every NBA team this offseason. The reason the Raptors offense was so lethal was because their bench was able to score. Lou Williams would be a huge loss if he signed elsewhere. Williams has always been a good shooter but has finally found a home in Toronto. I can’t see the Raptors letting him go.

SF Tobias Harris, Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic's Tobias Harris makes an uncontested dunk during the final seconds of overtime in an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Wednesday, April 10, 2013, in Orlando, Fla. Orlando won 113-103. (AP Photo/John Raoux) ORG XMIT: DOA108

Scott Skiles in Orlando is terrible news for Tobias Harris if he wanted to stay in Orlando. Skiles was in Milwaukee when Harris was there earlier in his career and the two had a bad relationship. With Aaron Gordon and the #5 pick in the upcoming draft, the Magic can afford to lose Harris. Harris is perfect for Toronto. He can play the three and the four with the size to matchup against LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Kawhi Leonard. He would add floor spacing to one of the best offensive teams in the NBA. Harris would put the Raptors a top three team in the East.

The Toronto Raptors are in a much better position then most teams in the Eastern Conference. They need to make a big move this offseason to solidify a Big-3 that can compete for an NBA Championship. With the East being as weak as it is this is the best time to build a contender. Players want to play in Toronto now. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan need to be the recruiter to convince stars to play in Toronto. The Raptors have the money and trade bait to make a move. It’s time for the Raptors to make a franchise changing move.

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