In case you’ve missed it, there seems to be a very real possibility that the Raptors land Kevin Durant on their roster next season.
They’ve got the second-best odds to land him according to Vegas, with a host of young, talented players they could move in exchange for the 12-time All-Star.
But as fun as it might be to imagine Durant on the Raptors, there’s also a pretty strong chance that, you know, he doesn’t end up on their roster at all.
The Raptors have 15 roster spots to fill before the season kicks off in October. With a slight update to last week’s edition of this article, here’s how the Raptors are shaping up to look in the 2022-23 season.
- Fred VanVleet
- Scottie Barnes
- OG Anunoby
- Gary Trent Jr.
- Precious Achiuwa
- Pascal Siakam
- Khem Birch
- Chris Boucher
- Thaddeus Young
- Otto Porter Jr.
There are ten Raptors on the roster who should be picking up significant playing time next season, with Boucher, Young, and Porter signing their contracts over the past week. Outside of Porter, that’s nine returning players stepping into pretty similar roles as last season’s 48-win team. Not bad!
The youngsters (4):
- Malachi Flynn
- Dalano Banton
- Ron Harper Jr.
- Christian Koloko
The Raptors drafted Christian Koloko at 33rd overall this past season, while picking up Malachi Flynn and Dalano Banton up in the 2020 and 2021 drafts, respectively. Ron Harper Jr., meanwhile, signed as an undrafted free agent on a two-way contract earlier this summer. Flynn and Banton spent time with the Raptors 905 last season, while Koloko and Harper are likely to do the same this upcoming year.
Justin Champagnie (1)
- Justin Champagnie
While he could be in “the youngsters” category, Justin Champagnie deserves his own role at this point because he remains a restricted free agent without a contract at this point. He might have a spot on the team, but it isn’t looking great with the roster jam in front of him. Maybe if they move two guys for Durant?
The “signed but could be moved” group (2):
- Svi Mykhailiuk
- Armoni Brooks
Svi Mykhailiuk and Armoni Brooks both have one year remaining on their contract with Toronto, but their roles aren’t exactly guaranteed.
The pair sat ninth and 15th in total minutes on the roster, respectively, with Mykhailiuk almost completely falling out of the rotation during the second half of the season. It wouldn’t be too surprising to see the Raptors move on from one or both either before or early into the 2022-23 campaign.
The “unsigned but will probably not make it” group (2):
- Isaac Bonga
- David Johnson
If Isaac Bonga and David Johnson didn’t get much of a shot with the Raptors last season, it doesn’t look much better this upcoming year. Bonga played 69 minutes this past season for Toronto, while Johnson played just two. Johnson, a 2021 second-round pick, might start with the G League after being extended a qualifying offer last week.
Unrestricted free agents (1):
- Yuta Watanabe
The Yuta Watanabe experience might be coming to an end in Toronto, as he looks to be entering unrestricted free agency without a contract offer. A fan favourite both in Toronto and abroad in Japan, Watanabe suited up in 88 games the past two seasons for the Raptors.
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