It has been a very interesting few weeks dating back to June 14 when it comes to the Toronto Raptors. From choosing the next head coach to going without a pick in the NBA draft, to having your former head coach win coach of the year, it’s a bit unorthodox, to say the least.
Rumors said the Raptors were in pursuit of acquiring a first-round draft pick via a trade. Nobody knew how they would do that but with the team constantly saying every player on the roster is available, it is safe to say they were going to go to great lengths to get a draft pick.
It was rumored the team had a close eye on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the six-foot-six freshman point guard out of Kentucky. It would’ve been a great pick, not only because of the 19-year-olds skill but also because of the fact he is Canadian. He was born and raised in Hamilton before moving to Tennessee to improve his play. What would’ve been a very good pick for the team ended up being a dream, one they will have to watch unfold in a Los Angeles Clippers uniform.
But not having a single pick in the draft is okay. How is not having a single pick in the draft okay?
The Raptors lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers yet again this past postseason even as the no. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Finishing first isn’t the point though. Unless you’re drafting the next LeBron James, depending on a rookie to come in and help you beat the King himself, is a stretch. If the team was going to begin heading in a different direction where Gilgeous-Alexander would be one of the backbones of the team then that is a different story.
But with a new head coach in Nick Nurse, it is still unclear which way the team is heading although it would’ve been fun to see the rookie perform under the Raptors offensive wizard. It is safe to say that some of the moves made player wise this offseason will more than likely be orchestrated by the new coach.
Speaking about head coaches, Dwane Casey; remember him Raptors fans? The new Detroit Pistons head coach and former Raptors bench boss earned himself coach of the year honor’s, just to rub some salt into the wound if things don’t pan out for Toronto.
Not that firing Casey was the wrong move. There were some very questionable coaching moves made during the second round sweep at the hands of the Cavaliers. Masai Ujiri pinned the series loss on coaching and even though many agree, plenty of the team’s top players didn’t perform. At the end of the day, someone had to pay the price and it was Casey.
Congratulations to Dwane. https://t.co/LoviJVFllD
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) June 26, 2018
What many want to know is which way will this team head in? It is hard to imagine Ujiri not giving Nick Nurse a chance to really work this Raptors core. But at the same time, it is hard to not give the coach pieces he thinks he needs to get past the Conference Finals. In the end, he is chasing the championship the team is desperate to win, along with trying to beat LeBron James. Toronto is really hoping he ends up in the west this offseason, that will definitely help.
It will be an interesting summer in Toronto. All we know is everyone is available. But what we don’t know is to what extent.