Toronto Raptors: Loss to Pelicans illustrates tough situation

Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are 1-4 this season with no clear path to improve.

Through the first five games of the season, the Toronto Raptors find themselves in a situation many teams dread. Struggling to meet expectations and not knowing whether to try and improve or decide when to pull the plug.

The last thing anyone wants to do is give up on a season this early especially when the Raptors were expected to be a playoff team. It is certainly still a possibility that Toronto goes on a stretch that puts them back into the playoff picture.

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What many will be wondering is if it would be worth it to invest in remaining competitive this season or if they should consider the future instead? There have been talks about the team’s interest in James Harden which has its benefits but also an equal amount of risks.

Another situation that the team needs to consider is Lowry’s future with the team. He is in the final year of his deal and no one wants to win more than he does and his play this season has shown that.

If the right deal is presented to Toronto where they can trade Lowry to a contender and get some assets, should they consider it? A good management staff knows when the tough call has to be made and the last thing they want to do is hold out for false hope and lose out on an opportunity to improve.

Lowry should get the chance to let the front office know whether he wants to go chase another ring or stick things out. The solution shouldn’t be to patch a hole on the roster only to have a bigger one open up down the road.

There doesn’t seem to be a Kawhi Leonard type deal out there for the Raptors who made the bet to go all-in for a title and were willing to deal with the aftermath. That deal didn’t put the Raptors in this situation but they don’t want to find themselves stuck in this predicament.

Getting talent is only part of the battle for NBA teams as you have to keep the players together which is always a challenge when you figure in the leverage they have to earn a big paycheque elsewhere. Look at the Golden State Warriors, they obviously see the value of having multiple superstars when you see how the absence of Klay Thompson and Devin Durant have put Steph Curry in a tough position.

Looking at Toronto’s situation, it’s becoming clearer that PascaL Siakam is a good player but isn’t of the same calibre as other elite superstars. He along with OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet are good enough to be a part of a contending core but need a superstar player who can take the ball and make the plays they need in those close games.

Over the next month, the Raptors might have to make some tough choices but it’s much easier to do when you realize how important it is to avoid the dreaded situation of being in no man’s land.

Should the Raptors consider taking a step back and look to the future or is it worth it for them to try and get back into a contending position this season? Let us know in the comments below.