2019 Toronto Raptors Depth Chart
|Point Guard||Kyle Lowry||7||Fred VanVleet||23|
|Shooting Guard||Norman Powell||24||Patrick McCaw||1||Matt Thomas||0|
|Small Forward||OG Anunoby||3||Stanley Johnson||3||Malcolm Miller||13|
|Power Forward||Pascal Siakam||43||Rondae Hollis-Jefferson||24|
|Center||Marc Gasol||33||Serge Ibaka||9||Chris Boucher||25|
An offseason removed from another disappointing playoff run, the new look Raptors have their sights set on the top of the Eastern Conference once again. The path to once again reclaiming the top seed in the East got a little bit easier with LeBron James heading to Los Angeles, something that Raptors fans can certainly look forward to. Not only did they make a splash in free agency when they traded DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl to the Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, but the underrated acquisition of Greg Monroe will be a boon their an already strong bench. They also moved on from head coach Dwane Casey, despite him leading the Raptors to five-straight playoff appearances, and promoted assistant coach Nick Nurse who had been with the team since 2013 after spending several seasons coaching in the G-League. Nurse brings an up-tempo offense that thrives on spacing and dribble penetration, something that this new Raptors team will excel at. Nurse loves to have his players jack up three-pointers, so having Danny Green and CJ Miles on the wing with Kawhi Leonard will be something to look forward to, and these stylistic changed should bring some interesting rotational adjustments from last year.
All-Star Kyle Lowry is coming off a down year where he only averaged 16.2 points and 6.9 assists per game, partly due to a more egalitarian offense, but should thrive in Nick Nurse’s new offense. Lowry shot 39.9 percent from beyond-the-arc last season and is a 37 percent three-point shooter for his career, and he should have no issues having a bounce-back season. One of Toronto’s biggest strength is their bench and they have one of the deepest batches of point guards in the NBA. Lowry will have Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet backing him up and each is extremely valuable to the team. VanVleet projects to get the majority of the minutes as the primary backup point guard, with Wright sliding over to the shooting guard position, but having a versatile duo of guards that can lead the offense and score is a luxury for Nurse and the Raptors. VanVleet is coming off a season where he averaged 8.6 points and 3.2 assists in 20 minutes per game and he was lights out from beyond-the-arc, connecting on 41.4 percent of attempts. Wright was solid, as well, averaging eight points and 2.9 assists in 20.8 minutes per game.
Nurse has plenty of options to choose from when it comes to who starts at the shooting guard position but Danny Green will most likely get the chance to start the season off in that role. Green comes over from San Antonio as part of the Kawhi Leonard deal and adds both three-point shooting and defense to a team that ranked in the top-10 in defensive rating last season. Having depth at the position is another luxury for the Raptors as they can elect to give CJ Miles minutes behind Green or they can go small with Wright at the two-guard spot and Miles playing the three. Wright and Miles will both get plenty of minutes, however, as which lineup Nurse elects to roll out will more matchup-based. Kawhi Leonard has the starting small forward position locked up and he will be an excellent mentor to both OG Anunoby and Norman Powell. Anunoby was excellent for the Raptors last season on the defensive end of the floor but found ways to contribute on the offensive end with his 37.1 percent three-point shooting. Once again, the Raptors are absolutely loaded at the small forward position which will mean Norman Powell could be the odd-man out when it comes to getting minutes.
Serge Ibaka saw his minutes decrease last season but he leads a, once again, deep pool of options at the power forward position for the Raptors. Ibaka is the prototypical Nick Nurse stretch big that can hit the three, so his minutes may increase from where they sat last year. Behind Ibaka, Pascal Siakam will get plenty of chance to develop and can even play small ball center, giving the Raptors plenty of flexibility. Jonas Valanciunas will need to get used to shooting more threes if he wants to contribute this season but he has shown the ability to contribute on both ends of the floor. Greg Monroe was brought in during the offseason and gives the Raptors an excellent rebounder off the bench, although he may see limited minutes as the Raptors will play small with Siakam at the center position for a lot of minutes this season.