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Toronto Raptors fantasy basketball season recap

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Previous team recaps: DET, WAS, POR, CHA, SAS

At a glance:

Record: 25-57

Offensive Rating: 111.8 (24th)

Defensive Rating: 118.1 (26th)

Net Rating: -6.3 (24th)

Pace: 99.9 (12th)

Draft Picks: 19, 31

The Toronto Raptors entered the 2023-24 season in flux. Having lost Fred VanVleet in free agency, the futures of Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby were in question. Both were entering the final season of their contracts, and having lost VanVleet and (a few years prior) Kawhi Leonard for nothing in return, lead executive Masai Ujiri had decisions to make. With Scottie Barnes viewed as the unquestioned cornerstone of Toronto’s rebuild, Siakam and Anunoby were moved before the February trade deadline.

Anunoby (along with Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn) was traded to the Knicks in late December, with Toronto receiving RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and a 2024 second-round pick. Siakam was sent to Indiana in exchange for Bruce Brown, Kira Lewis Jr., Jordan Nwora, and three future first-round picks. While those moves weakened Toronto’s roster in the short term, they gave Ujiri and company added flexibility to rebuild the roster around Barnes.

Toronto won’t have a lottery pick to work with next month, but the middle of the draft could offer solid value, especially for teams needing to add athleticism on the wings. And the Raptors have two critical decisions to make in free agency, with Quickley (restricted) and Gary Trent Jr. (unrestricted) set to hit the market in late June.

Fantasy Standout: Scottie Barnes

With Barnes being the lone Raptor to finish the season ranked within the top 50 in 8- and 9-cat formats, this is an easy choice. The third-year wing easily exceeded his Yahoo ADP (50.5) and earned his first All-Star Game appearance. Playing in 60 games, Barnes posted averages of 19.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.5 blocks, and 1.7 3-pointers in 34.9 minutes. And the percentages improved in comparison to the 2022-23 campaign, with Barnes producing splits of 47.5% from the field, 34.1% from three, and 78.1% from the foul line.

Barnes’ production increased in each of those categories compared to the numbers he recorded the previous season, and he provided top 25 per-game value in 8- and 9-cat formats, according to Basketball Monster. The negative for fantasy managers was that Barnes couldn’t help them at playoff time, as he fractured the middle finger on his left hand in early March and did not play again. He’ll be ready in plenty of time for training camp as the Raptors move forward with a roster that does not have anyone remaining from the 2019 title team.

Fantasy Revelation: Immanuel Quickley

Quickley’s 2023-24 campaign was essentially two seasons in one, as his role in Toronto was far different from the one he held while a member of the Knicks. While he was one of the best reserve guards in the NBA, Quickley’s fantasy ceiling was low in New York due to his backing up Jalen Brunson. In 30 games with the Knicks this season, he averaged 15.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.5 steals, and 2.1 3-pointers in 24.0 minutes. Post-trade, Quickley started all 38 games he appeared in with the Raptors, with his minutes per game average (33.3) increasing by more than nine (24.0 with New York).

As a Raptor, Quickley averaged 18.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 0.9 steals, and 2.8 3-pointers per game while shooting 42.2% from the field, 39.5% from three, and 84.1% from the foul line. While IQ’s percentages did decrease once he was moved to Toronto, that’s to be expected with the role change. Between the new team and Toronto losing multiple rotation players due to injury, Quickley’s time north of the border went well. He will be a restricted free agent this summer, and staying in Toronto would be a positive development for a player who finished the year as a top 100 player in 9-cat formats. And it’s one place where he would be well positioned to be the starting point guard come Opening Night.

Fantasy Disappointment: Chris Boucher

For some reason, there’s no shortage of fantasy managers who can’t quit Boucher. The feeling heading into this season was that the change from Nick Nurse to Darko Rajakovic would give the “Slimm Duck” a new lease on NBA life, but that isn’t how things worked out. Unable to make himself a fixture in the rotation, Boucher’s minutes dropped from 20 to 14.1 per game in 2023-24. In 50 appearances off the bench, he accounted for 6.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 0.6 3-pointers.

Boasting a Yahoo ADP of 142.5, Boucher ranked outside the top 300 in 9-cat formats before a partially torn MCL in his right knee ended his season in early March. He’s due to be paid a little over $10.8 million in the final season of his current contract, so there may be some added motivation in that regard. However, it’s been a downhill slide since he finished in the top 10 in voting for the Sixth Man and Most Improved Player awards after the 2020-21 campaign.

Fantasy Recaps/Look-Aheads

Jakob Poeltl:

After acquiring Poeltl from the Spurs at the 2023 trade deadline, the Raptors did not hesitate to re-sign him last July. While the 7-footer provided top 100 per-game value in 9-cat formats, injuries limited him to 50 games. In those appearances, Poeltl averaged 11.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.7 steals, and 1.5 blocks in 26.4 minutes, shooting 65.6% from the field and 55.1% from the foul line. He was an excellent option for fantasy managers willing to punt free throws, providing close to top-50 fantasy value. Poeltl wasn’t far off from his Yahoo ADP (81.7), and that’s a fair place to target him in standard league drafts next fall. As for the potential injury concerns, last season was the first in which he failed to appear in at least 66 games since his rookie campaign (2016-17).

Kelly Olynyk:

Like a few other members of the Raptors’ rotation, Olynyk began the 2023-24 season elsewhere. The 6-foot-11 big man appeared in 50 games with the Jazz before being traded to Toronto, averaging 8.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.7 3-pointers in 20.4 minutes. The move to Toronto led to increased minutes for the Canadian, as he started 19 of the 28 games he appeared in while averaging 26.4 MPG. In those appearances, Olynyk contributed 12.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 0.9 3-pointers, shooting 54.8% from the field and 82.4% from the foul line.

From the trade deadline onward, he provided 6th-round per-game value in 8-cat formats and 8th-round value in 9-cat. Of course, one has to account for Scottie Barnes and Jakob Poeltl playing fewer than ten games during this stretch and RJ Barrett playing 16. The absence of critical options freed up more opportunities for Olynyk, who did his best to take advantage. Toronto signed him to a two-year extension in March, and Olynyk is a clear upgrade on the non-Poeltl bigs who were logging rotation minutes last season. As for where fantasy managers should consider drafting him, KO is a late-round option in most leagues.

Gary Trent Jr.:

Trent’s scoring output has decreased in each of his three full seasons in Toronto, and this year was especially rough. In 71 games (41 starts), GTJ averaged 13.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.1 steals, and 2.5 3-pointers in 28.1 minutes, shooting 42.6% from the field and 77.1% from the foul line. The scoring average was Trent’s worst since the 2019-20 season (8.9 ppg with Portland), and given the limited output in other fantasy-relevant categories, that damaged his fantasy value.

Boasting a Yahoo ADP of 114.1, Trent ranked outside the top 150 in 8-cat per-game value and just inside that threshold in 9-cat. Having picked up his player option before the season, Trent bet on himself ahead of unrestricted free agency this summer. The question now is whether or not Toronto will commit to re-signing GTJ and what his role would be if so. The additions of Quickley and RJ Barrett likely push Trent into a bench role in Toronto, which would limit his fantasy value.

Bruce Brown:

Having helped the Nuggets win their first championship last season, Brown was well-positioned to cash in once he hit free agency. That is precisely what happened, with the Pacers signing him to a two-year deal worth $45 million (team option for 2024-25). Unfortunately, while Brown got paid, the fit was awkward. Despite starting all 33 games he appeared in with the Pacers, he was sent to Toronto as part of the Pascal Siakam trade. Brown’s role with the Raptors was closer to the one he enjoyed in Denver than with the Pacers, with the veteran wing starting 11 of the 34 games he appeared in.

As a Raptor, Brown averaged 9.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 0.6 3-pointers in 26.0 minutes, shooting 48.1% from the field and 83.3% from the foul line. While the Yahoo ADP (119.8) suggests that fantasy managers weren’t expecting much from Brown, finishing outside the top 150 in 8- and 9-cat formats was disappointing. As noted, the Raptors hold Brown’s option for next season, and the $23 million price tag could be a bit steep for a rebuilding team. As evidenced in Denver, he can impact a contending team, but the likely role would limit his overall fantasy value.

RJ Barrett:

While Barrett’s game has never been fantasy-friendly, having failed to finish ranked within the top 200 in per-game value in four of his five NBA seasons, the move to Toronto could benefit him in the long run. While he was limited to 32 games after being dealt due to injuries and a death in the family, RJ was more productive with the Raptors than he was with the Knicks pre-trade. In those 32 outings, he averaged 21.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 1.5 3-pointers in 33.5 minutes, shooting 55.3% from the field and 62.9% from the foul line.

According to Basketball Monster, Barrett provided 11th-round per-game value in 8-cat formats from New Year’s Day onward. He was considerably worse in 9-cat (2.5 turnovers per game), but the improvements could not be ignored. Barrett will be a key player in Toronto’s rebuild, which is focused on Scottie Barnes. While the Toronto native will remain a late-round option regarding where he should be drafted, his ceiling is higher with the Raptors than with the Knicks.

Gradey Dick:

Selected with the 13th overall pick in last summer’s draft, Gradey’s minutes and production increased significantly after the All-Star break. In 26 games (16 starts), he averaged 12.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.6 steals, and 2.0 3-pointers in 28.8 minutes, shooting 43.7% from the field and 80.8% from the foul line. While that production wasn’t good enough to crack the top 200 in 8- or 9-cat formats, Gradey was a viable streaming option when allowed to start. His chances of taking on an expanded role in 2024-25 will depend on multiple factors, including what happens with Gary Trent Jr. (unrestricted free agent) and Bruce Brown (team option). In the fall, Gradey will be a better option for dynasty leagues than redraft formats.

Ochai Agbaji:

Agbaji appeared in 78 games between the Jazz and Raptors during his second NBA season. He started 18 of his 27 appearances in Toronto, averaging 6.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 0.6 3-pointers in 23.6 minutes, shooting 39.1% from the field and 61.1% from the foul line. While his points, rebounds, assists, and steals averages were higher in Toronto than in Utah, Agbaji’s struggles shooting the basketball remain a concern. In addition to the low field goal percentage, he shot 21.7% from three after the trade. Toronto’s incomplete rotation didn’t help, but Agbaji needs to bring more to the table as a catch-and-shoot option to go along with his abilities as a wing defender. While he could be worth a look in deeper dynasty leagues, most redraft league managers can look elsewhere.

Unrestricted Free Agents: Jordan Nwora, Garrett Temple, Gary Trent Jr.

Restricted Free Agents: Immanuel Quickley, Malik Williams

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