By next year, people will be talking about how smart

The Raptors won’t have a predictable dynasty

Second, that the Raptors’ bosses feel like they have gotten in on the ground floor of Facebook or Google. The triumvirate co owner Larry Tanenbaum, Bell chief executive officer George Cope and Rogers chairman Edward Rogers weren’t just giddy as kids when interviewed on TV, they were dressed like them.

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There’s nothing that says, “I’ve arrived!” like a bunch of rich guys ditching the suits to get kitted out in team swag.

Rogers talked about being “committed” to building “a dynasty,” which is a good applause line. However, NBA owners don’t build anything but arenas. Players build dynasties. The question now is do the Raptors have the personnel, the will, the juice and the longevity to build one of those? And the definitive answer is, “Maybe.”

All of this is dependent on Kawhi Leonard and the choice he will be free to make come July 1.

The Raptors can offer him far more money than anyone else about US$50 million or so. states.

So if money is an issue for Leonard, that’s good for Toronto. They can offer him stability and control. They may even go so far as to offer him a nudge nudge wink wink understanding that if he is unhappy after a couple of seasons, they will agree to trade him. Leonard is in the position to ask for anything and probably get it.

Let us assume Leonard signs. That’s one star secured. You need others.

Marc Gasol would be wise to opt into the final year on his current deal. He’s still valuable, but old and slipping. By next year, people will be talking about how smart he is, instead of how good he is.

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Kyle Lowry has one year left on his contract. He’s not old, exactly, but the law of averages tells us he has entered his declining years. Slower and more injury prone is not what you want in a starting point guard.

## ## Danny Green is a free agent and would very much like to return to Toronto. That will depend entirely on how little money he is willing to settle for, because there won’t be much of it available to him in Canada.

That’s three holes in the starting rotation that will need to be filled soon ish, and probably not by the men currently occupying those spaces.

So the core of this theoretical dynasty will be Leonard and Pascal Siakam. Anunoby might be core guys some day, but not yet.

Two guys can make a championship level core in the NBA. The Lakers just dealt away half their roster, all their future draft picks, the team bus and a time share in Cabo for all star Anthony Davis.

That makes the Lakers a team made up of LeBron James, Davis and 13 other breathing humans.

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But a core core, a great core, a dynasty type core, usually means three or four all NBA level players. Golden State had four (though by the end of the Finals they were down to two). The Miami Heat dynasty had three. Cleveland had LeBron when he was LeBron. Now he’s Mr. James, and the mere sight of him is no longer enough to win games.

Where will these other one or two “dynasty” players come from? That’s why Masai Ujiri gets paid so much. To find them.

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