So something needs to change by next year. What?
1) Blow it up and start over
Certainly one of the better ways to get top-tier talent. However...
- This team has a really really good core. One of the five or so best in the NBA. With a lot of good years left. If you think this team should blow it up...do you think 20-25 NBA teams should blow it up every year?
- You fail more than you win in the draft. You're more likely to get a Michael Beasley than a Kevin Durant. And the team that gets Kevin Durant still probably doesn't win a title with him (see: Durant, Kevin).
2) Get a superstar
Brilliant. Just not easy to do. If there's something out there that makes sense, sure, go for it. Another trade like the one for Kawhi might not come around again for a while, and the Raptors aren't going to win many free agency battles for the top guys.
3) Get a (non-superstar) offensive spark
Suppose it's impossible to land a guy at Kawhi's level. Is there lower-tier/flawed offensive talent that the Raptors could get for a lower price? I'm thinking somebody like Jamal Crawford a few years ago: can create his own shot, but obtainable, lower price, and can bring off the bench. Maintain a stout defensive starting five, let Crawford 2.0 loose with the 2nd unit, and bring him in with the starters when you need more offense (end game, or perhaps as a starter in a playoff series when you need an offensive spark, like Dallas did with Jason Terry).
4) Develop the guys we already have
None of the Raptors were able to provide the offensive spark the team needed this year. Is it crazy to think of them developing into the offensive spark we need over the next 2 or 3 years? When I think of non-superstars that could become the next Kawhi, or perhaps a lower-level offensive spark like Jamal Crawford, perhaps the Raptors have just about as much potential/future talent as anyone.
- Siakam --> Kawhi 2.0/Giannis 2.0
- Powell --> Bradley Beal 2.0
- Davis --> Klay Thompson 2.0
5) Go small/spread
Out of 7 core rotation guys...
- 4 shot under 32% from three
- 2 are pretty big/slow for today's NBA
And that 2nd number has to go down to 1. You can't play Gasol and Ibaka that much in that series, which means you might as well have only one bigger C like that in the core rotation at all. Still made sense for the Warriors to have Bogut, but ultimately won with Draymond at the 5.