November 8, 2020, 2:58 pm
How’d We Get Here?
The defending champs put up a valiant effort, losing two starters, including Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, but still emerging as one of the league’s best teams anyway. Built on a willingness to play as hard and smart as possible while not being afraid to try new things, the Raptors continued their stay towards the top of the league’s rankings, leaning on a swarming defense and a balanced offensive attack that called on everyone to chip in. Their playoff undoing was a result of no true tough-shot-maker, but it was a wonderful defense of a title that few predicted.
The Raptors decided to approach the offseason with a star-hunt in the summer of 2021 in mind, and it cost them Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol. They were able to retain Fred VanVleet and added some intriguing, low-cost depth guys, as usual, but this looks like a retooling year. The desire to keep the cap sheet clean for 2021 led to some hard decisions this summer, but the Raptors have proven they can outplay a talent deficit.
Arrivals: Aron Baynes, Alex Len, DeAndre’ Bembry, Alize Johnson, Yuta Watanabe, Henry Ellenson
Rookie Arrivals: No. 29 Malachi Flynn, No. 59 Jalen Harris (2W)
Departures: Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Malcolm Miller, Dewan Hernandez
Retained: Fred VanVleet, Chris Boucher, Oshae Brissett
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