Marc Gasol and the "hungry" Raptors are ready to get to work.
Depsite losing Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green this offseason, veteran Gasol, along with Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam, are preparing to defend their NBA title and do what they can to become back-to-back champs.
"If I had to express it in one word, I would say 'hungry,'" Gasol said Saturday when asked about the revamped Raptors team (via ESPN). "I think it's a very hungry team. We all understand what Kawhi meant to the team and how well he played in the playoffs. But we also understand how good we can be as a team, and we're all going to invest everything in it to be that team."
General manager Masai Ujiri, who made the decision to trade fan favorite DeMar Derozan to the Spurs to get Green and Leonard, said he thinks the current Raptors will be ready to hold their own.
"I think guys are going to step up, I think guys are up for the challenge," Ujiri said.
After the Raptors won their first title ever in June, Leonard opted not to re-sign with the team and left for the Clippers in free agency. Green then followed suit, signing with the Lakers.
Despite the pair moving on, Ujiri said he wasn't upset and that it was "just the nature of the business."
"We understand it and we move on as an organization," he said. "I think there are many bright spots with our team, whether it's our veteran players, whether it's our players coming up and the younger group we're developing."