The Toronto Raptors surpassed expectations during the 21-22 season in finishing fifth in the Eastern Conference, but they don’t expect to accelerate their timeline because of it.
“I think it’s still a team of the future,” Masai Ujiri said during his end-of-season state of the union address on Tuesday. “I think we have to have patience and grow. It’s the first time Pascal (Siakam) and Fred (VanVleet) and OG (Anunoby) have been at the helm. I think they did OK. And the young guys, (it was) the first time they’re really playing.
“We still preach patience and growth here. I know with how the results came at the end of the season. I know the expectations now become day-to-day; I understand that from a fan perspective or media perspective. It’s win now. But we’re thinking (about) the long game here.”
Ujiri believes in the core of VanVleet, Siakam, Anunoby and Scottie Barnes and will give them opportunities to grow and perhaps fail.
“I think there are things we’re really going to evaluate the next few days,” Ujiri said when asked if he would be willing to hand out multiyear deals to free agents, both his own and those from other teams, in the offseason. “This is what you guys making me do this press conference right after the season (causes). If you’d waited three weeks, then I’d (have) been able to tell you what all our meetings (yielded) and all the things that we want to do. But right now, I don’t have an answer for you.”