Toronto Raptors Depth Chart
PG Kyle Lowry, Cory Joseph, Fred VanVleet, Delon Wright (INJ)
SG DeMar DeRozan, Norman Powell
SF DeMarre Carroll, Terrence Ross, Bruno Caboclo
PF Patrick Patterson, Pascal Siakam, Jared Sullinger (INJ)
C Jonas Valanciunas, Jakob Poeltl, Lucas Nogueira
It’s hard to imagine this team on paper being better than the Raptors of 2015-2016. The loss of Bismack Biyombo will NOT go unnoticed. The Raptors rim protection will take the biggest hit especially with the Raptors wanting to ease Jakob Poeltl in slowly (who is probably the best defensive centre the Raptors have).
Role Player (RP)
The 6th Man (The 6)
Below Role Player (BRP)
Not a Pro Talent (NPT)
The Raptors Roster
PG) Kyle Lowry
Kyle Lowry is an all-star and maybe even the best point guard in the East. His body hasn’t held up well late in the season over the last two years. Hopefully he can buck the trend and dominate in the playoffs.
SG) DeMar DeRozan
“DD is one of two players. He’s the guy that shoots around only 40% with 15ppg half the season with hardly any 3s. And the other half he’s carrying the team on his back putting up 25+ points by getting to the free-throw line a lot. When he’s the first kind of player he’s no better than a 6th man. When he is the second kind of player he plays like a number two option on a good team.” – Last Year. I was a little harsh, but he was hard to watch at times in the playoffs. However, when he’s rolling his hard to stop. Just for the record I was onboard with re-signing him.
SF) DeMarre Carroll
“An interesting signing for the Raptors, but ultimately an overpay. Yes, he will bring much-needed defense. But I don’t think he brings the shooting touch he had with the Hawks last season. The Hawks were one of the best passing teams in the league to it opened up a lot of good looks for Carroll. However, the Raptors were one of the worst passing teams in the league so I wouldn’t bet on him scoring more than 10ppg and shooting better than 33% from 3. DeMarre Carroll is probably the 4th best player in this lineup.” – Last Year. My opinion hasn’t changed. Although he did shoot well from 3 during the regular season when he played.
PF) Patrick Patterson
The Patman’s numbers were slightly down this season compared to the previous season despite getting more minutes. However, Patterson got fewer touches this season. Efficiency is still the name of his game by shooting well and not turning the ball over. A high quality backup is how I would describe the stretch four. He needs to improve his rebounding ability and defense to morph into an above average starter that Raptors need him to be this season. He’s playing for a contract and said he wants to get paid. Patterson’s already got great chemistry with the team considering he made every lineup combination better last year. Maybe he does make the jump? The fans are on his side. That includes me. I’ll buy-in, although I don’t think I was ever out.
C) Jonas Valanciunas
Valanciunas was easily the Raptors best player in the playoffs, but yet fans still sour over his Olympics and preseason play. The dude dominated Hassan Whiteside! What more do you want? Casey needs to give him 30 minutes a night and finally start running plays for him. Why risk a poor shooting game from DeRozan when you can have a guaranteed buckets in the paint from JV?
Jared Sullinger (Free Agent Acquisition)
It was a feel good moment for Raptor fans when the Raptors were able to sign Jared Sullinger for $6M. He’s a good rebounder and is a better defender than Luis Scola. Unfortunately, foot surgery could force him to miss up to 3 months. As long as he comes back healthy in the second half of the season this acquisition should still look okay.
T-Ross numbers weren’t a significant improvement like people think they were. It’s been hard to figure out what he does well. He’s not a particularly good passer, rebounder or defender and he doesn’t draw fouls. What I have concluded is that he is a good three-point shooter when given space. I would think the Raptors would try to trade Ross because he’s still young so some other team should be willing to flip their disappointing young piece to mix things up.
Not sure why fans aren’t buying in on Poeltl yet. I had him top 5 on my draft board, so I was super excited when the Raptors landed him. He’s a good mobile defender who can rebound and score in the paint. I feel his game is similar to Tristan Thompson. And that would be great to add that kind of talent to the team.
I disrespected Joseph last year. He was quite good. I’m not talking about Joseph’s numbers though. Cory was clutch in 4th quarters when he hit big time shots you don’t see role players generally make. My apologies here. He should be good again.
“I haven’t been impressed from what I have seen from Wright. I don’t really see him getting really any minutes unless Lowry or Joseph get hurt.” – Last Year. Delon is now injured and VanVleet might just be better than him for that 3rd PG spot anyway.
“I liked the pick when the Raptors drafted him and I have liked everything I have seen from him so far. There’s no way he shouldn’t be getting minutes. If Ross is still terrible or Casey is still hating on James Johnson there should be 10 minutes a game for Powell. In 10mpg, I project Powell to score 4-6ppg.” – Last Year. He averaged 5.6ppg in case you were wondering. Think he can double that rookie projection and be in the 8-12ppg range this season. He brings energy and gives the Raptors a transition game. Powell is the 6th man every team should want.
“Last year in summer league, an analyst stated Caboclo didn’t know how to run the floor. The young Brazilian only played 23 minutes for the Toronto Raptors this season, so it’s hard to judge his basketball game. However, the fact that he wasn’t able to get many minutes in the D-League is certainly a red flag.” – Last Year. I haven’t seen much of an improvement. Feel like his ceiling from day 1 was Al-Farouq Aminu. NOT Kevin Durant! Aminu is a plus role player that Bruno can only dream of being now. Not sure what Bruno’s basement is, but I don’t think it exists in the NBA.
Last year I didn’t know if he could play basketball. I still don’t. He’s fine offensively and even looks good at times, but I haven’t seen him make the defensive plays that would earn him a serious role on this team.
So much positive press has been put out on Siakam. I personally don’t see it. Fans & media like his energy because it reminds them of what Bismack Biyombo was able to do for the Raptors last season. Let’s be clear. He’s not Biyombo, but has a chance to get minutes while Sullinger is out.
I have no problems with VanVleet. He’s a 3rd string point guard. The Raptors needed one of those and now they have one.
Top 10 NBA Team Averages at Each Category VS (Raptors Season Average)
106.5ppg (102.7ppg) -3.8ppg
45.6rpg (43.4rpg) -2.2rpg
24.5apg (18.7apg) -5.8apg
8.9spg (7.8spg) -1.1spg
5.9bpg (5.5bpg) -0.4bpg
47 FG% (45.1) -1.9FG%
37.9 3FG% (37) -0.9 3FG%*
79.1 FT% (77.7) -1.4 FT%
13.2tpg (13.1) -0.1tpg
*Was a positive if you exclude the Warriors
2016-2017 Raptors PROJECTIONS
The Raptors might be as good as last season in terms of talent, but they may only get 52 wins and the 3rd season in the East. I’m not complaining and neither should you.