Raptors
(Matt Slocum/ Associated Press)

With the defending champions eliminated last night, the Toronto Raptors’ off-season has officially begun. It’s no secret that everyone in Toronto is disappointed with their second-round exit. Now that the season is over, some changes need to be made by the Raptors players and staff. Here are two changes Toronto needs to make this coming off-season to become contenders.

The Development of Pascal Siakam

It’s no secret the Cameroonian forward was disappointing in the Raptors series against Boston. Siakam went from averaging nearly 23 points during the regular season to a series average of 14.9 points. Everyone can agree that if Siakam had performed the way he did during the regular season, the series would have looked very different. It seems that Siakam is not quite ready to be the alpha on a championship team yet. This summer, he needs to work on his offensive game overall. So many times this series, fans watched as Siakam turned the ball over after getting stuck on offense. Had he developed a post-game or better vision, he would become a far greater threat on offense.

Siakam also needs to work on his mindset when faced with adversity. Throughout the last few games of the Boston series, he seemed sad and discouraged. A star cannot allow bad games to affect their mood and body language, and they can’t enable media attention to affect them either. The next few weeks will be brutal for the young Raptors star, as every journalist will be ripping him and his team apart. Raptors fans can only hope this motivates Siakam more as he heads into the offseason.

Raptors
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/ NBAE Via Getty Images)

Signing a Young Big Man to Succeed Marc Gasol

Following the 2019-2020 NBA season, Raptors center Marc Gasol’s contract is up. The Spanish big signed a $25 million extension for the 2019-2020 season. Although Gasol has had a great career, it’s clear that he is far past his prime. Gasol is 35-years-old, so it wouldn’t make sense to sign him to a long-term contract; instead, the Raptors should pursue a young, big man who could do what Gasol did. The possible answer for them is a free agent on the Detroit Pistons, Christian Wood.

The Potential of Christian Wood

Drafted in 2015, Christian Wood is not the most well-known player in the NBA. He’s stayed under the radar in his five years, bouncing back and forth between the G-League and NBA. Wood has career averages of nine points and five rebounds, decent but nothing incredible. However, this season, Wood has raised his averages to 13 points and six rebounds. He also shot 57% from the field and 39% from the three, excellent numbers for a young player. Wood plays the power forward and center positions just like Gasol, and despite being an undersized big at 6’8, Wood has still managed to be productive. Flashes of his potential came out in the last three games of his season, where he scored over 20 in all three games, including a 30 point, 11 rebound performance against the Utah Jazz. Wood can shoot and can play multiple positions while spacing the floor well. If he continues to develop, he could become a severe threat in Toronto’s system.

Raptors
(Abbie Parr/ Getty Images)

The Toronto Raptors didn’t have the season they imagined after winning a championship and losing their superstar. Although their regular season was great, they couldn’t manage to get back to the championship. Now that they have time to think about where they want to go, expect significant improvements from the Toronto Raptors.

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