The Toronto Raptors shocked the NBA with their impressive play this season without the aid of NBA All-Star Kawhi Leonard. SI's Rohan Nadkarni discusses the Raptors future and whether the franchise should look to cut ties with the rest of their veteran roster and start a rebuild.
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Madelyn Burke: The Toronto Raptors have lingered atop the Eastern Conference. But can they get it done again without Kawhi Leonard? I'm joined now by SI NBA writer Rohan Nadkarni and Ro, as the Raptors look to a post-Kawhi future. Do they need to rebuild?
Rohan Nadkarni: So this season would kind of be the argument against rebuilding, right? I mean, they've managed to be one of the better teams in the east, one of the better teams in the NBA, even without Kawhi Leonard guys like Fred VanVleet Pascal Siakam taking a big step forward. The Raptors are in kind of a really tricky spot with the way this season is shaping now. Serge Ibaka is on an expiring contract.
Marc Gasol is on an expiring contract. Kyle Lowry only has one year left on his deal after this one. I think the way Masai usually set up this team was to kind of give them one more year and then we look toward the future with some of the younger pieces they have. But with them being so successful, can you even rebuild now or does this team deserve a chance to kind of continue doing what they've been doing? I'm a romantic. Maddy would love to see this team be able to stick together and give it another shot. But, you know, they could plan for five years in the future, not just one year. And I think it's gonna be really interesting to see how Toronto kind of handles the success they've had this season.
Madelyn Burke: It's gonna be kind of reminiscent of those ninety four bulls after Michael Jordan retired and Scottie Pippen rose to the occasion. But was that enough to win a championship? Not quite. We'll see how the Raptors continue on that. Thank you so much for the time.