What you had to say about the Toronto Raptors in our fan survey

Get the latest from Ryan Wolstat straight to your inbox

Article content

We asked basketball fans for their thoughts on a number of topics ahead of this Toronto Raptors season — and you delivered.

Advertisement 2

Article content

The Raptors have flirted with a .500 record in the early days of the season, but respondents believe they will do better than that. They are also high on Scottie Barnes, pleased with the Darko Rajakovic hiring and the firing of Nick Nurse and have been following the Raptors for a long time.

Article content

Here’s what you had to say:

1. How will the Raptors do this season?

Just over 41% of respondents think the Raptors will be a Top 6 playoff team, while 40% see a play-in berth. The other 18% and change think this team is heading for the lottery.

2. How would you grade Toronto’s off-season?

Just over 49% of respondents handed Masai Ujiri, Bobby Webster and the front office a grade of B to C+. But 38% weren’t as positive, going with C to D-. Only 7.6% went with A+ to B- and 5.26% went with an F.

Advertisement 3

Article content

3. Were you hoping they would trade for Damian Lillard and sacrifice future assets?

An easy win for the anti-Lillard crowd, with about 80% saying no and 20% saying yes.

Recommended from Editorial

4. How do you feel about the draft selection of Gradey Dick?

More than two-thirds (68%) thought Dick was a solid player, so a solid pick. But 13% think Dick will be a star, so loved the pick. Another 11% or so wanted Kobe Bufkin or someone else and 7% think Dick will be a total bust

5. Was firing Nick Nurse the right call?

The Raptors have already lost to Nurse’s new team, the Philadelphia 76ers, twice this season. But this survey was released before those games and 88% think firing Nurse was the right move, 12% disagree.

Article content

Advertisement 4

Article content

6. How will you remember Nurse?

Nurse is still respected, with 48% of respondents saying he got a ring for the franchise, so will be a legend in Toronto forever. Nearly 40% thanked him for the title but thought he’d be around for longer. Finally, just over 12% think Nurse is overrated.

Dennis Schroder, left, talks with new Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic during Sunday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. Ronald Cortes/Getty Images
Dennis Schroder, left, talks with new Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic during Sunday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

7. Do you like the hiring of Darko Rajakovic as head coach?

A rousing endorsement for the new coach, with nearly 91.5% liking the hiring.

8. What is your level of interest in the Raptors compared to other years?

Most (43.5%) said it was the same as ever, but 20% said they weren’t planning on paying attention to the Raptors this season. Another 36% were extremely excited for the new season.

9. What should the Raptors do with Pascal Siakam?

Siakam has been quiet so far, with Scottie Barnes taking over the spotlight. But before the season, 47% wanted the Raptors to extend the former All-NBA forward. Another 27% wanted Siakam traded to retool around Barnes and other young players, with 25% saying figure it out at the trade deadline.

Advertisement 5

Article content

Recommended from Editorial

10. What should the Raptors do with O.G. Anunoby?

Nearly 79% of respondents want Anunoby to remain a Raptor and then be re-signed in the off-season. Still, 21% want Anunoby traded now or at the trade deadline.

11. Which new Raptor are you most excited about?

The answer was rookie Gradey Dick, the lottery pick with the sweet shot, but not by much. Dick barely edged Dennis Schroder, 42% to 41.5%, while Raptors 905 guard Markquise Nowell got 8.8% of the vote. A further 7.55% said Jalen McDaniels, but he hasn’t shown much yet in limited playing time.

Advertisement 6

Article content

12. How do you feel about Fred VanVleet leaving?

The Fred VanVleet Era needed to end, according to 60% of you, who applauded him for his great new contract and wished him well in Houston. Still, 35% said it was outright time for a change and only 5.5% said Toronto should have matched because VanVleet is a legend.

13. Who should start?

Dennis Schroder got 70% of the vote, Gary Trent Jr. the other 30% and the early results show you were bang on here. Schroder has been outstanding, while Trent has not played well.

What should the Raptors do with Pascal Siakam? Should they re-sign him or deal him? Michael Reaves/Getty Images files
What should the Raptors do with Pascal Siakam? Should they re-sign him or deal him? Michael Reaves/Getty Images files

14. Who is your favourite Raptor?

Scottie Barnes was the choice of 42%, Pascal Siakam nearly 26.5%, O.G. Anunoby nearly 23% and almost 8% picked other.

15. Who is your all-time favourite Raptor?

This was a good one. Surprisingly, Kyle Lowry got 44% of the vote here, Kawhi Leonard only 6%. Vince Carter got 23.5%, DeMar DeRozan 13% and other nearly 12.5%.

Advertisement 7

Article content

16. What will Scottie Barnes develop into?

According to 53%, Barnes will make an all-star game or two. The 36% who said superstar are looking pretty smart right about now, solid starter was the choice of a little over 8%, while 2.5% said Barnes wouldn’t do better than being named rookie of the year.

17. If you can only afford two of Siakam, Trent and Anunoby, which one do you let go?

Trent was the expendable one, being chosen with 69% of the vote. It was a surprise to see 20% pick Siakam and just 11% Anunoby.

18. What will be the team’s greatest strength?

Defence was the choice of 46%, chemistry 29%, depth 18.5% and somehow 6.6% decided on shooting.

Recommended from Editorial

Advertisement 8

Article content

19. What will be the team’s greatest weakness?

More than 75% of respondents picked shooting here, 17% said depth, 4.67% chemistry and 2.67% defence.

20. How many games do you go to on average each Raptors season?

Not a lot it turns out. A whopping 47% said they don’t get to any games. Another 35% said 1-2, 12% said 3-5 and 6% go often, 6 or more times a year.

21. How would you grade the experience at Scotiabank Arena?

Nearly 54% say pretty good, 24% think minor improvements are needed, 13% want major improvements (a big renovation has been announced), but 9% say it is top notch.

Kyle Lowry enjoys the Raptors championship parade in June of 2019. Lowry was selected by you, the reader, as their favourite Raptor of all time. Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun file
Kyle Lowry enjoys the Raptors championship parade in June of 2019. Lowry was selected by you, the reader, as their favourite Raptor of all time. Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun file

22, Which Raptor is poised for a breakout season?

A lot of you like Precious Achiuwa (56%), while 22.5% believe in McDaniels. Another 13% hold Chris Boucher stock, 8% chose Christian Koloko.

Advertisement 9

Article content

23. Hypothetically, the Raptors can bring home one Canadian three seasons from now. Who would be your choice?

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was the easy choice, thanks to his All-NBA first team season and dominance with the Canadian national team. The Hamilton, Ont., native was picked by nearly 88% of respondents. Kitchener, Ont.’s Jamal Murray, coming off a title, got nearly 10% support, Andrew Wiggins got 2.76%.

24. How happy are you with the front office (primarily Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster)?

Guys, I’m getting a bit worried here, but maybe they’ll figure it out was the choice of 60%. Nearly a third said they have complete confidence, while nearly 8% believe it is time for a change.

25. It’s rumoured that Larry Tanenbaum will be out as a co-owner in 2026. Bell and Rogers would split ownership at that point. Is this …?

Advertisement 10

Article content

Nearly two-thirds think this is “A terrible thing, Tanenbaum brings a human and fan element to ownership and all of his teams except the Maple Leafs have won championships.” Tanenbaum actually just sold off 5% of his 25% ownership in MLSE. Nearly a third said: “It doesn’t really matter, profit is what everyone is about anyway,” and 3.6% believe full corporate control will be a good thing.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

26. Who will be next to win a title?

Bad news, Blue Jays fans, Raptors fans don’t have the faith. Only 22% picked Canada’s baseball team, while 34% think the Raptors can do it again soon. Despite a Stanley Cup drought stretching back to 1967, Leafs fans still believe, with 44% saying the Leafs will win a title before the Raptors or Blue Jays.

Advertisement 11

Article content

27. The Raptors have not retired any jersey numbers. Should they?

More than half (51.5%) want some jersey numbers retired forever. Nearly as many (44%) want numbers honoured in the rafters, but not put out of circulation. And 4.55% don’t want any jersey numbers retired or honoured.

28. Which former Raptor would be your choice to get a statue near Legends Row?

It’s Lowry again. The Greatest Raptor of All-Time got 59% support. Vince Carter was the choice of 21%, Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan both got between 3% and 4%, 1.5% said other (Chris Bosh? Andrea Bargnani?) and about 10% said leave the statues for Maple Leafs only.

29. When did you become a Raptors fan?

Finally, 45% of you say you’ve been down since Day 1, the 1995 debut. Another 21% became Raptors fans largely thanks to Vince Carter, 19% got the Raptors fever when the We the North Era gained steam, 7% admitted to joining the bandwagon during the championship season and 7.3% enjoyed Bosh and Bargnani and Jose Calderon and Anthony Parker bringing the franchise back to relevance after Carter was traded.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Article content


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.