As we all know the Toronto Raptors were the 2018-2019 NBA Champions. Mostly led by Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. But what if I told you Kawhi Leonard wasn’t the key to the success.
The Toronto Raptors have always been a scary team dating back to the 2013-2014 season we’re the amazing bond of Derozan and Lowry was created. Ever since that 2013-2014 season the Raptors have had 45+ wins every year. But the dynamic duo was always missing two things: a good coach and a 3rd Star. Dwayne Casey wasn’t the greatest coach and Derozan and Lowry needed the 3rd star to put them over the top.
The Raptors were always a good team in the regular season but would disappoint every year in the playoffs with many early exits. That was all until the Raptors traded for Kawhi and sent Derozan to the Spurs and eventually won the title with Kawhi. But I believe if the Raptors were to hold onto Derozan they still would have won the title. Just think Derozan is a slight downgrade from Kawhi with similar play styles but Derozan would have already had the chemistry and the commitment to the team. Along with the addition with arguebly one of the best coaches in the NBA right now Nick Nurse and the incredible growth of Pascal Siakam and go fill in the other 2 starting spots you have Fred VanVleet sho has shown tons of growth and Marc Gasol who is a above average C in the NBA. If you put that all together that could have been a 65+ win team.
Regardless of what happened the 2018 offseason I believe the Raptors still would have won the chip.