Toronto Raptors find themselves in a strange situation this offseason. Although they are reigning NBA champions, Raptors are poised to head down the rebuilding path after their best player Kawhi Leonard decided to leave in the free agency and join the LA Clippers.
Raptors currently have several veteran players on their roster – mainly Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, and Serge Ibaka – that can help them remain competitive and fight for the playoffs. But as all three are on expiring contract, the team was expected to move them and get some assets in return. However, Toronto won’t do this just yet.
TSN’s Josh Lewenberg recently reporter that Raptors “have no intentions” of moving their veteran players and will see if the group manages to remain competitive in the new NBA landscape.
“As for veterans Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka – who are all on expiring deals – the Raptors have no intention of moving them, at least not before the season, according to sources,” – writes Lewenberg. “Like he did with previous Raptors teams, team president Masai Ujiri will give this group an opportunity to sink or swim before choosing a path and deciding what comes next.”
One of the reasons why the Toronto Raptors might keep Lowry, Gasol, and Ibaka, is to give their fans a reason to come to arena on game nights. This group, combined with young stars like Pascal Siakam has potential to maybe even reach the second round in the playoffs and give the city of Toronto a bit more basketball excitement. Also, it would not be a good image for the Raptors if they end up in the lottery just one year after lifting the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.