Coming off a franchise-record 26-point second half blown lead that knocked them a season-high five games under .500, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri realizes his team has serious roster flaws and expects his conversations with GM's around the league to intensify following a Dec. 15 deadline which allows teams to deal the free agents they signed in the off-season.
Speaking Thursday on TSN 1050, the first-year GM made a point of reassuring Toronto's fan-base he would not tolerate the mediocre play that has led to the team missing the post-season for five consecutive years, while also failing to land a top-four draft pick.
“We will not be caught in no-man's land,” Ujiri said, noting the roster he inherited from former GM Bryan Colangelo lacks chemistry and contains parts that are too similar to function properly.
“We do have the same kind of players and we have to figure that out,” Ujiri said, while acknowledging the fact the team ranks dead-last in the NBA in assists to be an issue.
Besides point guard Kyle Lowry, no Raptors player is averaging more than three per game.
The assist issue, combined with the team's poor three-point shooting – Toronto is 20th in the NBA in three-point percentage and none of their starters average better than 40 percent – has played a large role in the team's 6-11 start.
Ujiri said chemistry is a key issue for any team and although Dwane Casey is doing his best, he is limited because of the way the roster has been constructed.