COMMENTARY | Masai Ujuri has been running the Toronto Raptors for just over a month and there are still more questions than answers in regards to the direction the team is headed.
Here are five burning questions surrounding the Toronto Raptors.
1. Will they keep most of the players currently on the roster in an attempt to get a better understanding of their value, or, will Ujiri blow things up and go into rebuilding mode?
Ujiri was adamant recently claiming he was content to stick with the players currently on the roster and he wasn't in a rush to mess with the roster too much.
"We have to continue studying the team and then studying what's out there," Ujiri explained to the media last week. "What are we going to do? Throw players away? We're not going to do that. I think winning is what you want to build around …(not tanking). I'm not sure the karma is great when you do stuff like that. I understand the whole big picture and we are putting all the options on the table."
Is that just posturing in order to get maximum value if he trades somebody? Sure, but there's also the chance Ujiri is being honest and wants to let this roster settle a bit and see what he has.
While having Camby retire as a Raptor had great sentiment, the veteran big man doesn't want to retire on a young, rebuilding team. He's asked to be traded to a team competing for a championship and it stands to reason he'll retire if he doesn't get his wish. However, leaving nearly $4 million on the table is unlikely. Look for the Raptors to deal him to a contending team and get a second round pick and cap room back.
Things with Richardson aren't nearly as clear. He looks likely to be traded but it's unclear what kind of market - if any - there is for the injury-prone guard.
3. Is Terrence Ross ready to be a rotation player next season?
Summer league is the time when players post bloated numbers and tease fans with what they may contribute to their respective teams the following season. Ross, however, has languished this summer and last in Las Vegas. This year Ross has averaged 11.5 points in 22 minutes and has looked lost and uninterested for prolonged stretches.
Casey vowed at the end of last season that minutes wouldn't be guaranteed for Ross and he hasn't done a good job of securing minutes based on his play this summer.
4. What kind of jump is Jonas Valanciunas poised for?
Valanciunas finished last season strong averaging 14.9 points in April. Through his first two games in Las Vegas has has been a complete beast averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds in just 28 minutes per game.
Now, stats in Las Vegas don't always translate to real NBA games, but considering how well he played to end last season and the increased muscle and weight he has already added, it stands to reason that Valanciunas is ready to make another big leap forward next season.
5. What Kyle Lowry will show up next season?
Last season fans in Toronto didn't know what kind of game they'd get from Kyle Lowry. Would it be the first-shoot point guard who averaged nearly 20 points, five rebounds and five dimes during his first month? Or, would it be the player who was hesitant to shoot but averaged nearly double-figures in assists during the last month of the season?
Those answers won't be answered until we see him on the court, but, the fact he's a free agent next summer and looks to be in great shape this summer bodes well for what he will be able to contribute on the court next season.
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