If you were MasaiÖ
I think the Raptors have 3 options this offseason:
1) Bring back Derozan and add role players (replace Biz and Scola)
2) Bring back Derozan and make a major trade (draft pick + maybe Ross)
3) Donít bring back Derozan and offer max contract to another player
For option 1:
If the Raptors decide to go with this option, I think they will end up with the same result as this year, if not worst. Truth of the matter is, Lowry and Derozan pretty much reached their full potential and Iím not sure how much more the Raptors can upgrade their role players. If the Raptors stays status quo and just replace Scola and Biz, the team will not improve from last year.
For option 2:
If the Raptors bring back Derozan, they will have limited cap to sign another key player. If the Raptors truly want to take the next step, they will need to make a major trade and improve their starting lineup. The biggest void is the PF position, players like Horford and Pau Gasol will definitely improve the team but they will need to give up assets. The Raptors do have a draft pick and I donít think the Raptors need to get any younger. The most valuable piece is probably Ross; not only is he locked down for the next few years, but he can probably start at the SG position for many teams. Ideally the Raptors will take this route as I truly believe the Raptors are a key player away from reaching the NBA finals.
For option 3:
If the Raptors donít bring back Derozan, they can offer a max contract to another player. Unfortunately, Iím not sure how much better the Raptors will get if they replaced one all-star with another all-star and keep the rest of the team status quo. Let say the Raptors signs Horford to a max and starts Ross at SG, is this lineup really better than last season? This option will likely be the case if the Raptors donít believe Derozan is a max player.
If you were Masai, what would you do?