The 2021-22 NBA season will attempt to be as close to a normal NBA season as possible after two years playing through a pandemic. The COVID situation in the United States has not improved as much as expected, but the league expects to get a full 82 games in while pushing for its players, coaches and staff to get vaccinated.
DKNation will be going through all 30 teams ahead of the season, looking at how the roster shapes up for the 2021-22 campaign. Here we take a look at the Toronto Raptors, who are banking on an experienced core to get back to the postseason after seven straight trips there from 2013-14 to 2019-20.
Toronto Raptors 2021-22 Outlook
Key additions: Scottie Barnes, Goran Dragic, Precious Achiuwa
The Raptors shocked the NBA world taking Barnes at No. 4 in the 2021 NBA draft. The Florida State product impressed in Summer League, but will need to show his offensive development is real against top NBA teams. Dragic and Achiuwa come to Toronto as part of the sign-and-trade deal with Kyle Lowry, but the former is likely to seek an alternative as the season goes on. Achiuwa should be a good rotation player for Toronto this season.
Key departures: Kyle Lowry
This is a massive blow for Toronto’s playoff hopes. Lowry changed the entire trajectory of the franchise with his arrival, taking the team from conference doormat to NBA champion. The point guard was the focus of the offense and helped everyone get set defensively. The Raptors have to hope Fred VanVleet can pick up the slack with Lowry’s departure.
The Raptors, even with star Pascal Siakam slated to miss time to begin the season, expect to compete for a playoff spot. Toronto still has a veteran core in place and Barnes looks to be a strong complementary piece from the jump. If Nick Nurse can set his team up well, the Raptors can definitely get into the play-in tournament.
Fantasy basketball player to watch: OG Anunoby
Anunoby was a rising star for the Raptors during their later contending years and really took a jump in the last two seasons. His three-point percentage over the last two seasons is 39.5 percent, making him the perfect 3-and-D player for the Raptors going forward. If his scoring can take yet another jump, he’ll be a strong fantasy asset for bettors this season.