Toronto Raptors: 5 Biggest Needs Raptors Need to Fill This Offseason
Although the Raptors were impressive under new coach Dwane Casey, they still failed to reach the postseason. To be able to break their drought next year, they must make some changes to their current roster.
The Raptors are confident with the majority of their starters for next year, but still need to make some changes to their bench if they want to reach the playoffs in the 2012-13 season.
Starting Small Forward
The Raptors address the small forward position every offseason, and every season they find the player they brought in doesn’t work out. This year they need to invest in a player who can be a starter for them for the next five years, and they should do it through the draft.
Unless they feel confident they can sign Nicolas Batum, they must draft a small forward with their lottery selection. Players such as Harrison Barnes and Perry Jones III will be studs in the NBA, and the Raptors will not regret drafting either of those two.
Backup Shooting Guard
After trading Leandro Barbosa to the Pacers, Toronto sorely lacked a scorer off the bench. If they want to improve on last year’s record, they need to be better offensively.
They should consider signing free agents Randy Foye, Jason Terry or Ray Allen. All three are great shooters and will give the Raptors the scoring they need to help them get back to the postseason.
If Jamaal Magloire decides to leave Toronto via free agency, the Raptors will need veteran presence. With so many young players on their roster, they will need someone with Finals experience and who has been around the league a long time.
Brian Cook played in the NBA Finals with the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic, and next year will be his 10th in the league. Cook is also a good three-point shooter for a big man, which would be an added bonus for the Raptors.
If Amir Johnson plays power forward for the Raptors, they will need a legitimate backup center. Aaron Gray started 40 games for the Raptors and still only managed to put up 3.9 points per game. While he is a good rebounder, he is a dreadful free-throw shooter and a poor shot-blocker for a seven-footer.
The Raptors could draft a center with their early second-round pick such as Festus Ezeli or consider free agents Omer Asik, Marcus Camby, Ronny Turiaf or Nazr Mohammed.
Another Scorer Off the Bench
Even with a new small forward and backup shooting guard, the Raptors should still consider signing another player who can score off the bench. If one or more of their guards get injured, they will still need to be able to score the basketball.
The Raptors would be smart to use their second-round pick to draft a scorer such as Kim English from Missouri. English would be able to step up when needed and would cost the Raptors little money.