Speaking with NBA.com, Ujiri said that the Raptors aren’t a team of ‘now’ and essentially admitted they’re going to entering some form of a rebuilding phase.
“There are going to be growing pains, trust me, you know like, sometimes it’s gonna be tough to watch but we know what’s coming, we know we’re excited about the young talent. They are excited to play – to see how, OG [Anunoby], Pascal [Siakam], Fred, are going to evolve as leaders – as elite players.
“And then the young guys, [Scottie] Barnes, Malachi [Flynn], Dalano [Banton]. In sports, people think ‘now,’ you know? And this is where we have to be patient and let it grow.”
While the team might’ve lost Kyle Lowry in free agency to the Miami Heat, the Raptors still have a strong core built around Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby.
Like most teams entering a rebuilding phase, Masai and his front office need to decide if they’re going to straddle the line of competing and developing young talent, or ‘blow it up’ and lean right into the young talent for years to come.
If the preferred route is trading away the established talent, is there a way the Denver Nuggets can get involved? Could the team trade for one of these players in their primes to strengthen their title chances in 2022-23?