30 Teams in 30 Days: The Raptors are healthy, ready to restart after a quiet period

The Raptors bring back the essence that led to 48 wins last season.

The main additions: Josh Jackson, Otto Porter Jr., Juancho Hernangomes (Free Agency)

Key subtraction operations: no one

Last season: It was a fairly good season for the Raptors, who won 48 games in a very good conference and lasted six games with 76 in the first round of the playoffs. There were two very encouraging developments: Pascal Siakam (22.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 5.3 app) resumed a high level of play after falling back for one season, and Scotty Barnes took home the Kia Rookie of the Year award. In addition, Gary Trent Jr. (18.3 ppg) that he’s a sage-wise agent as of the summer of 2021. Had Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby not missed a total of 51 games due to injuries, the Raptors might have broken 50. Two barriers. However, Toronto maintained a strong franchise with depth and a star in Siakam, one of the league’s best players during the final three months of the season.

Summer Summary: It was mainly quiet on the outside front for the Raptors as they lacked a first-round pick and refused to tug the team for a chance to get Kevin Durant. More on this in a minute.

But first: Toronto made a good-value purchase in the free dealership market by adding Porter, who recently came from starring with the Golden State.

Porter was a 3-point shooter during his time with the Wizards, then dealt with nagging injuries that took his time on the court, and then re-established himself as the range leader last season with the Warriors, where he was a perfect fit for Steve Curry and Klay Thompson. Porter is also a dependable defender and must help the birds of prey in that area. Finally, Porter seems a perfect fit for the second unit and someone who can start if needed, like he did with the Warriors while running the title.

The Raptors also added some “Hustle” by casting Hernangomez, the surprise supporting actor in the 2022 movie starring Adam Sandler. He played sparingly for three teams last season and could play a regular role in Toronto. Additionally, the Raptors have signed uncut replacement Ron Harper Jr. who is likely to be hiding in the club’s player development program.

And now, about a KD:

There were signs of a flirtation between the Raptors and the Nets regarding the disgruntled star before KD and Brooklyn agreed to an armistice. This was not a huge surprise. Raptors CEO Masai Ujiri rolled the dice at a previously underrated star when he swapped DeMar DeRozan for one season of Kawhi Leonard three years ago, and how was that?

This was a different situation in that Durant is under a four-season contract and therefore there is no risk of escaping through free agency, as Leonard did, on 2019 bail for the Clippers.

But any talks between the two clubs ended once Barnes was mentioned in the package. It was basically a deal breaker, and imagine this: a team refusing to trade a player with one season of experience for a Kia MVP-winning player and two Finals MVP players.

However, Durant is 34 and Barnes is 21, and that’s a pretty big gap, and besides, the Raptors are keen to keep Barnes in the fold for a long time. It’s not easy to get free agents to play in Toronto (weather, high taxes, money exchange), despite the city’s charm (see Kawhi). Therefore, it is in the interest of the club to draft and keep in the best possible shape.

So the Raptors want a healthier restart for VanVleet, and perhaps a breakout season on the horizon for the OG, continued star power from Siakam and more Barnes. This is a very good rotation, if everyone stays healthy, then noise may occur in the east.

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next one: Philadelphia 76ers | previously: Washington Wizards

> 30 teams in 30 days: full schedule

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Sean Powell has covered the NBA for over 25 years. You can email him Here, find his archive here and follow him Twitter.

The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of the National Basketball Association, its clubs, or Turner Broadcasting.

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