Title: How the Raptors’ talent identification and player development sets them apart
Date: April 8, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about how the Raptors have leveraged their talent identification and player development strengths to create a sustained model of success.
There are truths you’ve heard about the Toronto Raptors by now. They won an NBA championship without a lottery pick on the roster. They had two key figures win a G League championship and an NBA championship together just a few years apart. They just keep sticking around to defy expectations, topping their Las Vegas win total over-under for nine consecutive years. They are appreciated nuggets that highlight the rarity of what the team accomplished and continues to accomplish.
They do not, however, underscore some ethereal nature about basketball in Toronto or moments or destiny. The Raptors have built and sustained their success deliberately, with a calculated focus on what comes next while somehow maximizing the present. When the narrative is zoomed out on a few years from now, it might be the defining characteristic of the franchise’s most successful era. It’s an incredible thing to become elite for one special season. It’s another thing entirely if a long-term model can be built around that.
There are, I think, three different ways of adding talent to a roster: acquisition capital, talent identification and player development.