The Toronto Raptors will still have to deal with several important issues before training camp officially kicks off less than a month from now.

And while the Kawhi Leonard saga is already a thing of the past, the 2019 NBA champions have a lot of figuring out to do regarding the future of their present and future franchise’s cornerstones: Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam.

Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors included Lowry’s and Siakam’s contract situations to his list of remaining offseason questions in the Atlantic Division.

Adams opined that it’s very likely Siakam will get an extension before Opening Night than Kyle Lowry, who will turn 34-years-old this year, since the Raptors front office would prioritize youth over experience at this juncture.

“Siakam will certainly be a part of the Raptors’ long-term future. Since we can’t definitively say the same about Lowry, the up-and-coming forward is probably more likely to be extended within the next couple months than the veteran guard,” Adams writes on Hoops Rumors.

Youth over experience

The Raptors are entering a transition year after they capped off a remarkable playoff run with their first-ever NBA championship. Toronto’s bid for a two-peat took a huge blow though following the departure of Leonard, their top-scorer and main defensive anchor, over the summer.

With Kawhi taking his talent in the West Coast with the L.A Clippers, the Raptors are left with a gaping hole on their roster.

Don’t miss the latest news!
Click on the topic you interest most. We'll keep you updated with all the news you shouldn't miss.
NBA

Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri and head coach Nick Nurse have high hopes Siakam will fill the void with a larger role this coming season.

As for Lowry, the Raptors would take the risk of losing him to free agency next season than messing up their projected cap space for the summer of 2021, when the likes of Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George, Bradley Beal, and other top-tier free agents are expected to hit the free agency market.

Lowry is entering the final year of his contract worth $33 million. The All-Star point guard expressed his desire to play out the remainder of his career in Toronto, but again, there’s a remote chance a new contract will be agreed upon before the season begins.

The need for a shot creator

The Raptors shore up their perimeter defense by adding stifling wingmen Stanley Jackson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Toronto already had an elite-level defense, but their offseason addition would make them more suffocating for opposing perimeter players.

On the other hand, the biggest problem for the Raptors right now is the lack of a shot creator. While Lowry has been an effective scorer off pick-and-rolls, the Raptors clearly don’t have a Kawhi-type of talent who can score when the defense shut down almost all options.

Of course, the jury is out on Siakam and his development as an iso-scorer this season, but still, it’s an alarming situation for the defending champion going into the season without a proven go-to scorer.

Ujiri could consider bringing in a promising wing player like Jaylen Brown, Brandon Ingram, or the enigmatic Andrew Wiggins via mid-season trade; however, none of these players would move the needle as far as the Raptors’ title contention is concerned.

The best course of action right now is to take a wait-and-see approach and let Nurse formulate a new offensive system that doesn’t rely much on iso-scoring.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more