2. Determine the future of the centre position
Time and time again in the Boston series, the Raptors were caught with either not enough size or too much size on the floor.
When the Raptors went super small (notably in the overtime periods against the Celtics in Game 6), Boston centre Daniel Theis had his way at the rim, throwing down dunk after dunk on whichever undersized Raptor had the unfortunate task of guarding him.
Here’s the kicker; both Ibaka and Gasol’s contracts have now expired. The Raptors need to make a choice: will it be both, one, or neither?
For starters, it’s tough to see both Ibaka and Gasol returning. Gasol was stymied by the Celtics’ speed, where the toll that playing 12 seasons in the NBA takes on the body shone through. Meanwhile, Ibaka had a stellar playoffs, where at times, he was the only Raptor who could get a bucket. His three-point shooting and shot-blocking is superior to that of Gasol’s as well, while Gasol offers better height and overall defence.
If the clock has hit zero for one of the big men’s time in red and black, it seems most likely that Gasol would be the one to go. He’s spent less time in the Raptors system, and as mentioned previously, struggled throughout the playoffs.
But where does that leave Ibaka? Is he still a starting calibre centre? Or is he better suited to the bench role that he has adopted ever since the Gasol trade? If the latter is how Raptors brass feels, there are a few options that the Raptors could look at in free agency.
While Anthony Davis might be a bit of a reach, Andre Drummond is right in the Raptors’ wheelhouse. Drummond has been linked to the Raptors before, and given that the tenured big man has played out his days solely in Detroit and Cleveland thus far, he could be interested in a change of scenery. Other fives that will be looking for work this offseason include Montrezl Harrell, Aron Baynes, Canadians Kelly Olynyk and Tristan Thompson, and Dwight Howard.