The Toronto Raptors traded Norman Powell at the NBA trade deadline the last offseason, have a lot of young faces on their roster led by Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, and they are now without Kyle Lowry after he joined the Miami Heat in the offseason. There are a lot of question marks facing this team, but there is definitely still some upside to them.
Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and Gary Trent Jr. are all core pieces of this roster and with Chris Boucher, Scottie Barnes, and Precious Achiuwa being other key frontcourt pieces, the Toronto Raptors definitely have a chance to make the playoffs this year, but they are coming off one of their worst seasons in recent memory after going 27-45 last season.
The first few months of this season will tell us a lot about how this team is going to be, but it will also inform other teams about what they plan on doing.
The Raptors could easily take a step back and rebuild for the future right now, or they could continue to try and add pieces to their roster to be a playoff contender, but the one thing that could sway their decision is the play of rookie Scottie Barnes and potential breakout candidate OG Anunoby.
Both guys have played really well to begin the season for Toronto and this is with Pascal Siakam being out. Siakam is currently recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and will not be ready to return until sometime closer to Thanksgiving, which could open the door for an opportunity to trade the All-Star forward.
If Anunoby and Barnes continue to play well, along with recently acquired Precious Achiuwa at the center position, the Raptors will have to choose between talents to play, which is why they could look to leverage Siakam for immediate value.
Assuming he becomes available in trade talks, plenty of teams around the league will be interested in his services, but the Los Angeles Clippers are a team to look out for.
With Kawhi Leonard out until sometime in 2022, the Los Angeles Clippers are going to need a lot of help around Paul George, which could ultimately result in them searching for ways to add another high-tier talent like Pascal Siakam to their roster. Can the Clippers actually make a trade work with the Toronto Raptors?