It hasn’t been a great start to the 2020-21 season for the Toronto Raptors.
Forced from their home by Canada’s COVID protocols, the Raptors have taken up residence in Tampa, Florida. But they can’t seem to get comfortable there. They’ve scuffled to a 1-5 start and seem to be a far cry from the team that not only rose to a championship two years ago, but that — despite the departure of Kawhi Leonard the summer following their title win — posted one of the best records in the East least season and pushed the Boston Celtics to the limit in the Conference Semifinals.
It may be a little early to wave the white flag on Toronto just yet, but Paul Pierce believes this may be who they are now after the departure of several key veterans the last two offseasons, and if things continue to spiral, The Truth thinks the franchise should seriously consider a rebuild, as he noted on The Jump this week.
“They are who I expected them to be,” he said. “When you lose Kawhi…you lose Marc [Gasol] and Serge [Ibaka]…it may be time to start thinking about trading Kyle Lowry. He’s an aging vet, who still could bring some value to a veteran team. Siakam is struggling, but he’s their young star, he’s who they invested in. Start building around him. Lowry, he’s a guy that could help [another team] right now. He can help a contending team. So if I’m Toronto, I’d be looking at probably starting to rebuild after losing all these veterans these last couple years.”
The Jump crew also touched on the success of the Boston Celtics so far, which has been led by Jaylen Brown pushing his game to another level. Truth says Boston has been impressive, particularly since they’re playing so well despite the absence of Kemba Walker.
“I’m very encouraged,” Paul said. “You’ve seen Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown playing like the All-Star who we think he can be this year. This is very encouraging for the Celtics. You have to be encouraged, especially with their lack of depth, Smart being out, Kemba being out and they’re right up there at the top of the Eastern Conference.”
Watch the discussion below.