In the aftermath of the departure of Kawhi Leonard, Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors were determined to stay relevant in the Eastern Conference title chase.
20-plus games into the fresh season, and it's clear that Toronto is going to be good for a very long time, thanks to the production of Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and Marc Gasol. Still, the Raptors aren't quite where they want to be.
Despite boasting one of the better records in the NBA, the franchise is still on the hunt for star-power. Those efforts, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, is leading them towards 2021 free-agency, when the Greek Freak himself becomes available.
“I think for Toronto, they look at this season and then they look at the summer of 2021, when like a lot of teams, they want to be in the sweepstakes for Giannis Antetokounmpo. You’re not going to see them do anything here that’s going to compromise their salary cap flexibility for the following year.”
With a core primed to contend, and a respectable history of winning, the Raptors should be squarely in the race for Giannis next summer.
And with him on board, they'd be nothing short of a Championship contender. But they won't be the only ones pursuing the 2019 MVP. In a tight race, it will be up to Ujiri and the Raptors to convince Giannis Toronto is the place to be.