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Raptors only have one Cheap Andrea Bargnani Jersey draft pick this season

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The Toronto Raptors draft season might start a bit earlier than usual in 2020-21, as the team’s losing streak and poor overall record forced them outside of the playoff picture over the last few weeks, leaving them as close to Oklahoma State star Cade Cunningham as they are to the postseason.

The Raptors only have one draft pick this season, meaning that the thought of punting on the rest of the year with the intent of getting Wholesale Toronto Raptors Jerseys the top pick in the draft is something that likely will garner some support within the Raptors organization.

However, if the Raptors don’t realize that those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it, they could find themselves Cheap Andrea Bargnani Jersey hoping that another wunderkind comes in to fix all of their issues, a strategy that hasn’t always worked out for the best for this team given their history of swinging and missing at the trade deadline.

Toronto has drafted some superstars in their history, as evidenced by Chris Bosh, but this club has had some colossal missteps high Cheap Chris Bosh Jersey in the draft. Why would you give up on 2020 for another look at what’s in the mystery box?

The Toronto Raptors draft history in the Top 10 isn’t amazing
After Bosh in 2003, only DeMar DeRozan has made an All-Star Team while a member of the Raptors. This includes some misses like Andrea Bargnani at No. 1 overall, Jakob Poeltl at No. 9, and the all-time bust known as Rafael Araujo at eighth overall in 2004.

Tanking is also completely antithetical to how the Raptors have built this team. Toronto didn’t become a champion by giving up and hitching their wagon onto the back of one young golden boy that would handle everything. They won by making Cheap DeMar DeRozan Jersey smart trades and developing an array of young players and castoffs.

Cunningham, USC’s Evan Mobley, and G League star Jalen Green could all be franchise cornerstones, but that doesn’t mean the Raptors should just give up on 2020-21 to get one of them, especially when the play-in tournament makes it even more likely for them to go on a deep run in the postseason.

The temptation to find the next DeRozan is tempting, but trying to go all-in for one unproven player is a strategy that has rarely worked out for the Raptors. Drafting well is incredibly important, but losing on purpose for a college kid is not something that Ujiri and Nurse should consider.

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If there have been any positives to take away from the Toronto Raptors’ COVID-19 issues over the past few weeks, it’s been the team’s ability to really figure out what it has on the bench.

With Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Patrick McCaw, and Malachi Flynn all sidelines for over two weeks now, Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has been forced to dive deep into his rotation. For the most part, he’s uncovered Wholesale Toronto Raptors Jerseys a lot of duds and it wouldn’t be too surprising if some significant changes were made in the offseason to retool what appears to be Cheap DeMar DeRozan Jersey a lackluster Raptors bench. But there may be at least one hidden gem in there in the 26-year-old Paul Watson Jr.

Over the past five games, Watson has played 106 minutes, about 45% of his 237 total career minutes. It’s been the first extended look he’s had in the NBA and he’s done enough to impress Nurse. The most intriguing of his stats are his plus-minus. The Raptors have been outscored by 65 points over the Cheap Fred VanVleet Jersey past five losses and yet somehow Watson is plus-21 in his playing time, the highest of anyone on the team.

On Sunday against the Chicago Bulls, Watson played 27 minutes and was the only Raptors player in plus territory.

“It means he’s impacting the game pretty positively,” Nurse said. “We’re gonna need a little bit more shot-making probably out of him than he’s given us in the last few games. I think he’s doing everything else well, playing hard, defending, and rebounding, but when he gets those rhythm 3s he’s Cheap Norman Powell Jersey gonna have to step in and make a good share of them.”

Watson is just 4-for-16 on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers over the past five games. Not only is he missing some good shots, but he’s been a little hesitant to take his rhythm 3-pointers. It’s the kind of thing that comes with a major role change when suddenly you’re bumped from the back of the rotation to Cheap OG Anunoby Jersey the seventh man role seemingly overnight. Adjusting to that can be tough and takes confidence, Norman Powell said.

Back in 2015-16, Powell was in a spot not too dissimilar to Watson’s. He’d play a few minutes here and there Cheap Pascal Siakam Jersey and then he’d find himself stabled to the bench for days or weeks at a time. It wasn’t until late in the season that then-head coach Dwane Casey gave Powell a shot at significant minutes. His role back Cheap Patrick McCaw Jersey then was to come off the bench and provide defensive toughness and energy for 25-or-so minutes a night.

The first few games were rough, but Powell got some important advice from then-Raptors star DeMar DeRozan: stay aggressive.

Sometimes when you’re a back-of-the-bench player and you’re suddenly bumped into a much bigger role that advice can be tough to actualize. You’re trying so hard to do everything right that you start overthinking things  Cheap Malachi Flynn Jersey just to make sure you don’t make any mistakes. That, of course, is when the mistakes start happening, Powell said.

If you’re thinking on the court, you’re typically a half-second behind the play and that makes a huge difference, Powell said. That’s something he’s spoken to Watson about over the past year or so.

“He’s one of the guys that I talk to,” Powell said of Watson. “One thing I love about him is he’s always in the gym. He’s always working. He’s always very coachable and has an open ear to hear what I say.

“I’m always talking to him in the games to be aggressive. If you’re going to make a mistake, at least make it being aggressive and not thinking too much, letting the game come to you.”

Watson has shown he’s more than capable to come off the bench and provide some defensive intensity for stretches. He held his own Cheap Paul Watson Jr. Jersey against Zach Lavine on Sunday for a few possessions and he understands the defensive scheme well enough to stay consistent in rotations. The key for him, as Nurse said, is just playing in the flow on offence. The best shot in the Raptors’ offence is always the open shot and when Watson has it, Toronto needs him to take it.

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The Toronto Raptors continue to get disrespected thanks to the most recent 2020-21 Power Rankings.
NBA.com released it’s 2020-21 Power Rankings ahead of the upcoming season and your Toronto Raptors ranked 15th.

In-between the Raptors were the Phoenix Suns (14th) and Indiana Pacers (16th). When are people going to figure out that Canada’s team is arguably the most consistent franchise of the past five seasons and a capable top-five team in the NBA?

Before I get into the reason why the team deserves to be higher on this list, let’s look back at the history of this franchise.

The Raptors have won the Atlantic Division six of the past seven seasons and have won 50 or more games in five straight seasons. The team has also never finished worse than sixth in the entire league in winning percentage within those five seasons.

Toronto is getting close to reaching a culture of excellence like the San Antonio Spurs and year-after-year the team overachieves their pre-season rankings. It’s becoming comical that certain folks still disrespect this team, despite being incredibly consistent.

Toronto Raptors are not shy to disrespect
Even when the Toronto Raptors won the NBA Championship, they were huge underdogs and critics claimed that they only achieved greatness because the Golden State Warriors were injured. Then, those same people said the team might even struggle to make the playoffs after Kawai Leonard left.

Let me remind you what happened last season.

The Toronto Raptors rallied to a .736 winning percentage (best in franchise history) and finished second in wins league-wide. The team may have lost to the Boston Celtics but it was in a hard-fought seven-game series that could have gone either way. If the Raptors made a few more shots, they’d be playing in the Eastern Conference Finals and could have found a way back into the NBA Finals.

Within the rankings on NBA.com, the Raptors are currently listed as the sixth-best team in the Eastern Conference. No offense, but I can’t see a world where this team finishes worse than fourth. And that’s the worst-case scenario.

Here are the teams ahead of the Raptors:

Milwaukee Bucks
Brooklyn Nets
Miami Heat
Boston Celtics
Philadelphia 76ers
Of those teams, the only one that I legitimately see surpassing the Raptors are the Bucks. They still have the back-to-back MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo and a number of key starters returning, plus the addition of Jrue Holiday helps.

Besides the Bucks, how are the Raptors not in a better position than those other teams? Sure they’re missing Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, but their core of Cheap Pascal Siakam Jersey, Cheap Kyle Lowry Jersey, and Cheap Fred VanVleet Jersey are back and the youngsters should only improve. They also have Nick Nurse, who’s the best coach in the NBA, and you know he’ll get the most out of his bench players like he did last season.

The Miami Heat may have made the NBA Finals last season, but that could have been a fluke. We’ve never seen Jimmy Butler like that before and who knows if we will again.

In terms of the other teams ahead of Toronto, the Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum may be a top-20 player in the NBA, but they lost Gordon Hayward. Personally, I’d still take the winning experience and core of Toronto over them in a series.

The biggest question mark to me is the Brooklyn Nets. I can understand that a Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving duo is fun to talk about, but I can’t see this working. Durant hasn’t played a meaningful NBA game in 1.5 years and Irving is always a distraction. Just because it looks great on paper, doesn’t mean it’s going to translate to the floor.

This is a star-driven league and sure, a Siakam-VanVleet duo doesn’t move the dial like some other tandems. However, if the Raptors have taught us anything, it’s that a team-game is more important than one individual. Leonard may have been a huge reason why the Raptors won a championship, but he’s not the only reason.

The team has a collection of talent that will make them successful, instead of one superstar. If you want a perfect example, look back to Game 3 of the Second Round last year. Of all people, it was Cheap OG Anunoby Jersey who kept the Raptors’ season alive, nailing the game-winning shot at the buzzer. The team has a collection of talent and doesn’t have to rely on one superstar to win a ball-game.

NEXT: Toronto Raptors can make it back to NBA Finals
When the Raptors face adversity, they perform at their highest level and as the only team not playing in their home arena to start the regular season, they’re already battling hardship. Don’t sleep on the Raptors. Like every year before this, they’re going to surprise you.

Toronto Raptors team president Masai Ujiri will enter the final season of his current deal. Talks about an extension have stalled this off-season. In a conference call with media, Ujiri admitted that they just haven’t had the time. There have been a lot of other things on his plate which has sidetracked progress between him and the Raptors organization.

Via Josh Lewenberg of TSN.com:

“There’s just been so much [going on],” he said. “Honestly, it’s not a matter of not doing it, I think there’s just been so much [and] I’ve pushed it [back] until, I think, we get through a lot of this. There’s just so much going on with this relocation, and the focus, I don’t want to be distracted that way.”

While the coronavirus pandemic has obviously impacted the entire league, Toronto is arguably the most affected among the 30 NBA teams. The league needed to find the 2019 NBA champs a temporary home with the Canadian government restricting travel to the country. Ujiri obviously needed to be spearheading the process and that may have taken up a lot of his time. Eventually, the Raptors settled in on Tampa as their stopgap home for this campaign.

Apart from their short-term relocation, Ujiri certainly needed to make decisions with free agency. Toronto lost two key big men in the off-season in Cheap Serge Ibaka Jersey and Cheap Marc Gasol Jersey, and the former Executive of the Year needed to find replacements to fill in for their departures. Eventally, the Raptors signed Cheap Aron Baynes Jersey and Cheap Alex Len Jersey to replenish their front court depth this 2020-21 campaign.

It’s certainly in the the Raptors’ best interests to keep the Nigerian-Canadian executive for the long haul. Ujiri is, in fact, considered the mastermind responsible for Toronto’s historic run to their first ever NBA championship in 2019.

Nonetheless, it seems like both sides want to keep their relationship going. It’s just a matter of finding the right time to strike the deal and sign on the dotted line.