Title: Development program: The skills each Raptor should focus on this summer
Date: June 20, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about what area each Raptor should look to improve on and develop this summer.
Once the regular season ended, some Toronto Raptors were already trying to serve two ends: Winning an NBA Championship and getting ready for next season.
For some, that was fairly straightforward. Jordan Loyd, for example, was ineligible for the playoffs as a two-way player and could therefore get to work on his offseason program when he wasn’t working as a key piece of the Raptors’ scout team. Those at the end of the active roster had to at least consider the possibility of playoff playing time, but with Nick Nurse keeping his rotations tight, there was ample room to get to work, too. All of those players would have to pivot quickly from ready and willing depth pieces to making a case for a roster spot once the final buzzer sounded on the year.
Like it’s surely tough to shift gears for the front office, cutting vacations and celebrations short won’t be easy. It’s necessary, though. Two months is a longtime to fall behind the rest of the pack getting ready for 2019-20, an implicit cost of a deep playoff run.
Here’s a quick look at what each Raptor should be focusing on entering the offseason, with the obvious acknowledgement that players should be trying to improve across the board and raising their overall ceiling and talent level. These aren’t calls for players to only focus on one thing, just the element that may be worth the greatest emphasis or has the highest leverage for reaching their ceiling. After all, the Raptors are limited in terms of financial flexibility and a depth player breaking through or an older player extending their aging curve could be the key to insulating the roster from regression in 2019-20.