All Quiet Up North: What Have the Raptors Been Up to Lately?
The coaching search continues and the planning for the offseason is still on going as the Toronto Raptors set their sights towards the future after being humbled by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the NBA Playoffs.
After firing head coach Dwane Casey in early May, the team has been mum on who will potentially be taking the helm. The Raptors have been linked to Mike Budenholzer who shortly after signed on with the Milwaukee Bucks. They have also been linked to a couple San Antonio Spurs assistants as well as some in-house names. Nick Nurse, Rex Kalamian, and Jerry Stackhouse are all coaches in the Raptors system who received an interview.
With no picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, the Raptors will need to buckle down on finding their next head coach prior to start of the free agency period.
Speaking of free agency, the first order of business for the Raptors will be to keep the NBA’s best bench in tact. Fred VanVleet, who has become a revelation of sorts is entering free agency along with Lucas Nogueira and Malcolm Miller. While the latter two may be on their way out, VanVleet will be a key name for the Raptors to lock down early into the offseason.
While Masai Ujiri did mention that no one is immovable, the key big names that have been floated around in rumours have been Serge Ibaka and DeMar DeRozan. Ibaka, who is attached to big money over the next two years has been a disappointment for the most part, and given the rise of Pascal Siakam, Ibaka has become expendable.
Heading into the offseason, the Raptors need to continue to make strides as their window is quickly closing. A three year plan was essentially put into play before this past season and its up to the Raptors to add more perimeter shooting to the mix while maintaining their top-five defense status.