Thank you, Masai! In Masai we trust ...
Raptors fans don't be upset! This is a lot better than what it looks ...
The Toronto Raptors have made a bold move at the NBA trade deadline to acquire a fundamentally sound center in Jakob Poeltl that could help bolster their lineup moving forward. This is thanks to Masai Ujiri, who is widely regarded as one of the top general managers in the league, and he's pulled off yet another great deal.
Poeltl is known for his sound fundamental basketball, something the team quickly missed at the center position after Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol’s departure. He adds stability to the defence, making the offence more effective immediately. This could be an invaluable asset for the team's near future this season.
Poeltl’s return marks a reunion with the team he was drafted by in 2016. He has developed his game since then and is now an experienced and capable professional who adds defensive solidity and offensive firepower to the roster.
Here are four reasons why this is a genius move by Masai:
1) We would have never known the true potential of our core group without giving them a true center!
The Raptors' world was taken aback when Christian Koloko was drafted with high expectations. With raw talent and a huge upside, it seemed as though he could fix a problem haunting us since the departure of Serge and Marc.
However, while Koloko is full of potential, he’s not quite ready for the NBA just yet. It usually takes about 3 to 5 years for a young center to develop their game at that level. He needs more strength and even more seasoning before he can make an impact in the NBA.
The lack of an NBA-ready center has been a major blow to the potential of the Raptors' core in Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes. With Pascal forced to play out of his natural position, the team is severely lacking interior defence and paint protection abilities, which could be essential for the squad's success in the future. Luckily, with the recent addition of Jakob Poeltl, there is hope for a big improvement in this area.
Poeltl offers an experienced presence in the middle and can provide an effective defence against even some of the best power forwards and centers in the NBA. He also brings a unique level of efficiency to their offensive game - showing great patience on offence and fantastic court vision that could unlock more wide-open shooting opportunities for the Raptors. Poeltl brings the Raptors to a whole new level of efficiency on both sides of the ball.
VanVleet, Anunoby and Tren Jr. have all displayed exceptional three-point shooting ability for years now but will benefit from even better alignment courtesy of Poeltl's presence in the Post. Additionally, Siakam will benefit immensely from being able to start converting more post-up plays once again due to Poeltl's ability to set him up down low. Defensively as well, Anunoby, Barnes and Siakam now have a more reliable partner who can help them prevent opponents from driving into their zones by plugging passing lanes and limiting penetration from behind perimeter screens or handoffs better than before.
A true center in their lineup will allow them to free up space on either wing depending on which side they choose to run offensive sets - whether it's through dribble handoff plays, pin downs or pick-and-pop setups – freeing up Pascal offensively while relying on one another defensively just like they used to do back when they were rookies playing together within Toronto Raptors system.
Therefore, Poeltl has not only brought stability at the center position for the Raptors but also provided new avenues for growth at every other position too enabling them to unlock their hidden potential deemed impossible without an NBA-ready center so far this season.
2) He's the perfect fit for our roster!
Jakob Poeltl fits in seamlessly with the Raptors' system. As former members of the "bench mob," Pascal and Jakob have the friendly familiarity of teammates. Keeping him in Toronto could be mutually beneficial, as Jakob is invested in this city and already ties to the franchise. This can ignite both Pascal and Jakob's careers by reuniting the duo.
Jakob Poeltl is a true Raptor at heart. He's one of us, and we're lucky to have him back here in Toronto! His work ethic and attitude perfectly fit the Raptors' system. There’s a good chance he could stay with the team for the long term too; his contract is very affordable coming in below $9 million dollars a year. You won't find centers as good as Jakob for that price. Sure, he will demand more money this summer but Masai can do his Masai things and convince the big fellow to stay in Toronto.
If we're building around Pascal as we should, getting Jakob back was a great move that will pay off in dividends. It’s not just his skillset on the court but also his mentality that will bring success - Jakob has shown what it really means to be a true Raptor and embrace everything this city stands for. We are lucky to have him on our side for many years to come - let's use this opportunity wisely!
The friendship between Pascal and Jakob already has sparked enthusiasm from fans across Raptors' nation. Continuation of that bond on the court will bring joy to many while they strive to meet playoff goals - making it a prime opportunity that should not be ignored.
The fact remains that Jakob has a history with Toronto and could be attracted to stay; they must work on making it attractive enough not only financially but emotionally too before other teams start parking their offer sheets at his table. We have 26 games now to attain the ultimate peace of mind by working out how to keep Jakob in Toronto next year.
3) Masai sends another strong message about loyalty and opportunity
This is a good gesture by Masai to our core group. "I believe in you." That's who we are as an organization, we believe in our players, we live in Masai and we believe in one another. We are an organization that cares for our players and we're not going to stop believing in you. We still have a chance to secure a playoff spot in the weakened Eastern Conference. The eastern conference just got weaker after the departure of KD and Kyrie from the Brooklyn Nets. Now, it's time for us to make move up the standings and grab the 6th, maybe 5th stop in the East. We can do it.
Masai's pledge of belief to our core group is a gesture that shows the organization's commitment to the players and the sport. With the East playoffs standings having weakened due to the departures of KD and Kyrie from the Brooklyn Nets, Masai emphasized that he believes in our team and won't stop showing his support. With this chance, we can reach higher beyond expectations and aim for a top 5 or even 6th spot on our way to glory in the East. Masai's words give us all the boost and inspiration needed to rise up and prove ourselves effective through powerful performances on the court.
Masai has made a great gesture to our core group by expressing his belief in them.
"I believe in you."
That's who we are as an organization, we support each other and look out for our players. We strive to build a culture of trust and commitment between our fellow players and coaching staff.
Our team spirit exists in unity and friendship. Masai truly believes in that and we can't let him down. We have a chance to be part of the fight for a playoff spot in the East. We need to be happy about the opportunity at hand.
4) Who knows what the real returns would have been if we had traded Fred or Gary at the deadline?
The current season is a fragile time, and it's important not to rush into any decisions. While it may have seemed logical to trade VanVleet and/or Trent for something in return, there could be more value in riding out the year and seeing what transpires in the off-season. We have to trust in Masai to navigate the current season's delicate waters. He's the man in charge to make smart decisions that will benefit the franchise today and years down the road.
If we look back to Kyle Lowry being traded from Toronto, Masai Ujiri found a creative way to acquire Precious Achiuwa. Perhaps this same kind of creativity could benefit what we can get for VanVleet or Trent down the line. Masai will find a way to create attractive trade packages for both Fred and Gary that maximize our return.
We must analyze all possibilities and make calculated decisions that optimize our long-term prospects, rather than accepting average returns on short-term fixes. This includes finding ways to keep talented players on the team if possible; doing so gives them a chance to prove themselves and maximizes their long-term value.
It's important to consider the long-term implications of a potential trade for expiring contracts in Fred VanVleet and Gray Trent Jr. At the same time, our team should focus on getting the most out of this season by allowing our core players to prove themselves. We should keep an eye on how the markets develop before deciding whether or not we need to part with either or both players.
Like once a wise man said once "no deal is better than a bad deal"
When an offer doesn't feel right, trust your intuition.
It’s important to recognize when a deal is not what it seems.
Our worst days are behind us, it's time to start putting a winning run together.
Our current situation is far from ideal, but that doesn't mean we can't turn it around. We may be 10th right now, but there is still plenty of time left to catch up in the standings.
We are 26-30 with 26 games left in the regular season. We need to stay focused on executing and playing our best while staying true to our identity.
You have to trust in Masai and in Masai we trust. Masai is investing in the Raptors’ future with a strategic move in acquiring Jakob Poeltl and staying put at the trade deadline. Fans may be initially dissatisfied, but this deal speaks to his commitment to putting together a team of capable players that can help make Toronto the envy of the NBA once again.
He has consistently impressed those around him with his aptitude for creating successful plans and shaping prospects into contenders. His vision for the Raptors guarantees further success down the line.
Ujiri’s vision puts the team first, and it’s obvious he brings something to the table in terms of expertise and planning when making decisions that will impact the entire organization.
Through effective maneuvering, Masai Ujiri is ushering in an era of strong potential for Toronto’s basketball fans.
Let's rally behind our beloved Raptors ...
Let's go Raptors ...