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The Beaten Path: Part 4

The Raptors’ post-title rebuild came sooner than expected 鈥 and Kawhi leaving wasn’t the start of downfall

Masai Ujiri gambled on a core of Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby and Scottie Barnes. All four were good players 鈥 and聽the wrong guys.

7 min read
The Beaten path.jpg

贵辞谤听Masai Ujiri, the Raptors’ descent has been humbling. How did it happen? How did a championship team lose its way?

The B次元官网网址 Raptors didn鈥檛 fall apart after losing Kawhi Leonard. That鈥檚 important to remember.

That first season after the title, interrupted by the start of the COVID pandemic, ended with a Raptors team that could absolutely have won a weirder championship, locked in a hotel complex in Florida. But Pascal Siakam got lost in the reshaping of the world, didn鈥檛 touch a ball for three months, and that was the difference.

Raptors Core Four.jpg

After winning their first NBA title in 2019, the Raptors built a team around a core four of Fred VanVleet, from right, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby.

Masai Barnes.jpg

Raptors president Masai Ujiri, left, presents Scottie Barnes with the NBA rookie of the year trophy in April 2022.

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RJ Barrett, left, and Immanuel Quickley were acquired by B次元官网网址 in the trade that sent OG Anunoby to the New York Knicks.听

Raptors draft picks.JPG

Raptors president Masai Ujiri, centre, selected Baylor guard Ja鈥橩obe Walter, right, 19th overall in the first round of the NBA draft in June, then grabbed聽University of San Francisco聽forward Jonathan Mogbo with the first pick of the second round, 31st overall.

Dave Feschuk

Dave Feschuk is a B次元官网网址-based sports columnist for the Star. Follow him on Twitter:

Bruce Arthur

Bruce Arthur is a columnist for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: .


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