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3 reasons Raptors are still better than Knicks after 2022 offseason

Toronto Raptors, Gary Trent Jr

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 01: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors drives against Evan Fournier #13 of the New York Knicks  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Toronto Raptors are stuck in the middle of arguably the best division in the league, as every team in the Atlantic Division has a legitimate shot at making it to the playoffs. The New York Knicks, last year’s last-place finishers, have made some major improvements in the offseason.

The Raptors’ rival managed to land Jalen Brunson in the early stages of free agency while coaxing Isaiah Hartenstein and retaining Mitchell Robinson. After regressing in 2021-22, the Knicks have taken steps to ensure they will be a viable playoff contender.

The Raptors will no longer be able to exploit a team in disarray thanks to some patented Knicks dysfunction. However, that shouldn’t mean that Masai Ujiri’s 48-win squad from a year ago will curl up in a ball and accept the Knicks as a superior team.

Even after the Knicks made some serious offseason moves, the Raptors are still head and shoulders above them when you compare the two squads. These three factors prove that Toronto is a superior squad that should have a better shot at championship glory than their orange and blue-clad rivals.

3 reasons the Toronto Raptors are better than the Knicks.

3. Young talent

Even if you include RJ Barrett in the mix, the Knicks’ best players 24 years old and under are led by Obi Toppin, who has yet to find himself in Thibodeau’s good graces consistently. Immanuel Quickley has tons of talent, but his efficiency and scoring plateaued despite a slight minute per game increase.

Accepting, for the sake of argument, that Scottie Barnes and Barrett cancel each other out due to being similarly effective players, Toronto still has the edge. Gary Trent Jr. was one of the best two-way shooting guards the league had to offer, and Precious Achiuwa’s second-half surge confirmed that he has starter potential in this league.

The Toronto Raptors have more solid young players than the Knicks.

Essentially, this boils down to Trent vs. Quickley and Achiuwa vs. Toppin. Trent is clearly a cut above Quickley on both ends. While Toppin may have more offensive potential than Achiuwa, who is still a few years younger, Precious’ unique defensive skills will make him one of the most underrated young forwards in the NBA.

Unless Barret sets the world on fire or Thibodeau finds a way to make Randle, Robinson, and Toppin all coexist in the rotation, Toronto’s stable of young bucks should be more tantalizing than anything the Knicks can produce. Nick Nurse, always one to prioritize the youngsters, wouldn’t have it any other way.

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