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Toronto Raptors 2022/2023 Season Preview

The Raptors surprised some pundits and managed to finish 48-34 last season, just 3 games back of the second seed thanks to an All-Star season from Fred VanVleet. There were other contributing factors, such as the surprisingly excellent play of rookie Scottie Barnes, and the Raptors will need to find another way to surprise the league again if they hope to repeat their regular season success.

The team returns for 2022/2023 more or less the same, with only depth players leaving for new homes. In terms of additions, Juan Hernangomez joins the team via free agency, as did new NBA Champion Otto Porter Jr. Thaddeus Young and Chris Boucher were both re-signed during the off-season, and otherwise the Raptors signed several rookie free agents, including #33 pick Christian Koloko.

With some new faces coming into the system, it’s worth noting there isn’t much that required immediate action from the front office. VanVleet and Siakam are both in their prime at 28 years of age, and both have many good years to come. OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr, Scottie Barnes and Prescious Achuwa are all under 25 and form a solid peripheral brigade for now, as well as potential to continue to develop for the future.

One of either Fred VanVleet (left) or Pascal Siakam (right) needs to become a genuine Superstar in order for the Raptors to truly compete with the Eastern Conference's elite teams. Credit: Raptors Rapture

Add in veterans Thaddeus Young, Chris Boucher, Otto Porter Jr and Khem Birch to provide depth and leadership for an inexperienced brigade of Ron Harper Jr, Gabe Brown, Dalano Banton, Justin Champagnie and Christian Koloko, and the Raptors appear to have all demographics covered.

With all due respect, the one thing the team lacks is a genuine, A1 Superstar, which the franchise will hope a full pre-season and training camp will allow Pascal Siakam to blossom into this season. If he can, the Raptors ceiling rises to a new level.

The Raptors have backed in their development and continuity heading into the new season. They will once again be led by Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam, with the continued development of Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr all priorities for the team. There is plenty of talent on this roster, but their lack of a genuine superstar to battle with the Eastern Conference’s elite will keep them from achieving their goals.

Ceiling: 4th seed

Floor: 7th seed.

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