The Toronto Raptors had an impressive season last year and have plenty to build off moving forward. The franchise went 48-34 and landed the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. While they will certainly set loftier goals moving forward, the youthful squad took some notable steps in the right direction. Scottie Barnes breathed some life into the franchise and won Rookie of the Year for his impressive play.

The franchise will turn its attention to the 2022-23 season where they will hope to build off their previous success. The franchise clearly believes in its core and did not make any major moves to interrupt its growth this offseason. Their most notable addition was Otto Porter Jr following his championship run with the Warriors. Toronto also resigned Chris Boucher and brought in Juancho Hernangomez.

As the Raptors turn their attention to the upcoming season, here are three early predictions for what to expect:

Raptors 2022-23  predictions:

Chris Boucher shoots 35%+ on three-pointers

In one of their more notable moves of the offseason the Raptors resigned Chris Boucher to a two-year deal worth $13.5 million. Boucher had a bit of a down year last season but has still played himself into an important part of the Raptors style of play. His floor-spacing and shot-blocking abilities are important to Toronto’s lineup versatility. One area where Boucher disappointed last season was as a three-point shooter.

Despite shooting 38.3% on three-pointers in 2020-21 and being a career 33.5% three-point shooter, Boucher saw regression last year. The 6’9″ forward shot just 29.7% on three-pointers last year on 2.9 attempts per game. Expect the Oregon product to have a bounceback season and shoot at least 35% this year. The 29-year-old has clearly made his perimeter shooting a point of emphasis throughout his career and the results will show this season.

Scottie Barnes averages 5+ assists per game

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There is very little to nitpick about Scottie Barnes rookie season. The former 4th overall pick has a versatile game and established himself as one of the cornerstones of the franchise. One area where you can expect Barnes to take a step forward in his second year as a pro is as a passer. The Raptors have embraced postionless basketball and having each player on the court capable as a ball-handler and passer. Barnes has especially shown flashes in this area and the Raptors should look to continue making this a point of emphasis.

As a rookie, Scottie Barnes averaged 3.5 assists per game which was third on the team. The Florida State product showed some incredible flashes as a passer in college and the Raptors should further explore this potential. The 21-year-old likely has the highest potential of any player on the Raptors roster and the more the ball is put in Scottie Barnes hands the better. Look for him to fully step into the role a point forward and have a greater impact in running the offense. Allowing him to get more time serving as the primary initator could have terrific results for the Raptors and expect Barnes to tally at least five assists per game.

OG Anunoby eclipses 20 points per game

Another Raptors player who has continually progressed is OG Anunoby. The 25-year-old has improved his points per game in each of his five seasons in the NBA. Last year he increased his scoring averages to 17.1 points per game. Anunoby battled a series of injuries last year and still has room to improve. The 6’7″ wing has just about everything you could hope for in a modern day forward and has improved vastly as a shot-creator.

There are not a ton of additional shots to go around in the Raptors offense. However, carving out more opportunity for OG Anunoby would be a wise decision. The potential he possesses is evident and it is worth noting that he saw his scoring increase despite decreased shooting splits. The Indianna product shot over 39% on three-pointers in the previous two seasons and is a career 37.2% perimeter shooter but connected on just 36.3% of his three-pointers last year. Anunoby also is a career 47% shooter from the field but shot just 44.3% last year. While this is not a major fall-off, if he increases his efficiency the points will surely come with it.

There is a great deal of optimism surrounding this current Raptors core. Adding Otto Porter Jr is a nice piece to surround the developing players. The franchise has a ton of young talent that is still in the process of improving. While they likely will not be ready to contend for a championship just yet, expect the Raptors to be in the playoff mix again this year. If each player can reach these predictions it would help accelerate this process in a major way.