We have just seen the Toronto Raptors suffer yet another playoff exit at the hands of LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers.
We saw them add pieces in Serge Ibaka & P.J. Tucker at the deadline to try and bolster their “Big 3” of Lowry, DeRozan and Valanciunas. (It hurts my soul to call them a Big 3 so don’t be too harsh.)
In the end, it wasn’t enough—and probably never will be. By the time LeBron stops being good enough to blow past every team, Lowry will be collecting pension checks and DD will be on his third knee surgery (I know harsh…)
Teams like the Bucks and 76ers are playing the long game with a core FAR younger than the Raptors and even the Bucks aren’t notably worse than the Toronto.
Where does this leave Raptors brass in term of direction?
Lowry is a free agent, so is Ibaka and JV is on an affordable contact. This all means you can make moves. Don’t get me wrong—I understand this team won a bunch of games and provides entertainment for the fans (which is the business)…but I say tear it all down.
Masai Ujiri came onto the scene and let the players play out, then traded off some dead weight, and they started winning.
I don’t think this was part of the plan. I think he’s just been making low cost moves to maximize it until he runs out of track. And this train is about to go off the cliff. But the tracks will remain.
I say let Lowry go, don’t re-sign Patrick Patterson, Trade JV and sign Ibaka just to make it crazy. They have good young pieces that they drafted in past years and it all really comes down to how low will you go.
Dare to “trust the process” enough to not sign Ibaka and trade away DeMar? I would…
Toronto has built the foundation as a good organization, but in reality, superstars win. The Raptors do not have one nor is one likely to sign to play in Canada.
You need multiple top 3 picks in a row. Do what you need to get them.