Friday, September 22 2023

The Toronto Raptors lost 109-105 to the Chicago Bulls in Wednesday night’s play-in tournament, and now the front office is expected to move in a different direction this upcoming offseason by trading away Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby.

“I think everybody in the league knows that Toronto is going to be heading to a breakup,” a league executive told Scott Polacek of Bleacher Report. “They’re going to get rid of some of their assets and just go in another direction. “Siakam and Anunoby are on the trade block.”

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Raptors had 18th-ranked odds to win the championship prior to Wednesday’s loss to Chicago. Sportsbooks showed Toronto with 12th-best odds to win it all this time last season.

Last season, the Raptors went 48-34 and finished fifth in the Eastern Conference standings. During the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, Toronto lost in six games against the Philadelphia 76ers. Fans were hoping for improvement from Fred VanVleet, Siakam, Scottie Barnes and Anunoby together.

Is a breakup imminent? “It certainly feels like this is headed towards a split,” reports Josh Lewenberg of TSN. This is the second time in the last three seasons Toronto has missed the playoffs.

Toronto Raptors expected to trade Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby this offseason; Nick Nurse to part ways?

Furthermore, head coach Nick Nurse may decide to part ways with Toronto in the weeks ahead. NBA insiders are connecting the veteran coach to other openings. Under Nurse, the Raptors have gone 227-163 in the regular season and 25-16 in the playoffs since the 2018-19 season.

Additionally, Nurse was most successful in his first two seasons coaching the team. In the 2018-19 season, the Raptors finished 58-24 and second in the East. They defeated the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks in the 2019 NBA Playoffs.

The Raptors then upsetted the Golden State Warriors in six games of the 2019 NBA Finals, winning their first championship in franchise history. In the following season, Toronto went 53-19 and won its third straight Atlantic Division title. Nurse was also selected All-Star Game head coach and won Coach of the Year.

Fred VanVleet has a $22,824,074 player option for the 2023-24 season as well. This is part of the four-year, $85 million contract the guard signed with the Raptors in 2020. The seven-year veteran has until Jun. 15 to make a final decision. VanVleet could decide to opt out.

Per Toronto’s salary cap roster, Pascal Siakam is the team’s highest-paid player. The two-time All-Star has a $35,448,672 cap figure this season, which represents almost 24% of the team’s total salary cap.

VanVleet ranks second on the list, followed by Gary Trent Jr. with $17.51 million. Trent also has a $18.56 million player option for next season. The guard signed a three-year, $51.84 million deal with the Raptors in 2021. Plus, OG Anunoby is earning $17.36 million right now and $18.64 million next season.

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Source: Basketball Insider


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