Gone are front-court veterans Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, both jetting off to Los Angeles as free agents — Gasol to the defending champion Lakers, and Ibaka to the Clippers where he will be reunited with Kawhi Leonard.
Toronto has filled the void by re-upping with Montreal’s Chris Boucher and signing free agent forwards Aron Baynes and DeAndre’ Bembry.
The signings were announced after guard Fred VanVleet agreed to a four-year deal worth $85 million over the weekend.
Boucher averaged 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds a game last season with the Dinos.
The 33-year-old Baynes, an eight-year NBA veteran, spent last season with Phoenix, where he averaged a career-best 11.5 points per game.
Bembry, who’s 26, is an athletic defender but lacks any sort of offensive punch.
When you compare those three with what Toronto is losing in Gasol and Ibaka, let’s just say Toronto has a lot more work to do to fill the void.
Is Boucher ready to make the jump to a starting role? The jury is definitely out.
And can Baynes and Bembry make an impact? Sure, but not to the degree that Ibaka and Gasol did.
Serge and Marc aren’t superstar, or even star, players, but what they bring to the court every single game is hard to find — solid defenders who can chip in some offence here and there, with years of experience and a championship pedigree.
The Raptors are losing a lot more than what they’ve brought in.
Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, news and senior sports director at Global News Radio 900 CHML.