"The Crossover" is a season preview series we're running here at Raptors HQ in which we'll talk to other SB Nation team sites in the Eastern Conference to give us an idea of what to expect from the competition, what their expectations are for both their own team and the Raptors.
1. With Mike Budenholzer taking over Danny Ferry’s role, how do you see this new dual position affecting him and the team?
I don't think it will effect the team much at all at least in the short term. Budenholzer pointed out during the team's media day that he was already heavily involved in the decision making process. He indicated that he would lean heavily on assistant GM Wes Wilcox and the rest of the front office staff.
2. What difference will the return of Al Horford make?
All of the difference. Horford is the team's best player at both ends of the floor. Budenholzer and company found a way to keep the team competitive after he went down but they had to severely alter the gameplan.
3. Besides Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver, is anyone ready to contribute in the Hawks’ backcourt?
Atlanta's backcourt rotation will be an intriguing thing to keep an eye on this season. Shelvin Mack and Dennis Schröder figure to battle it out in camp behind Teague while new additions Kent Bazemore and Thabo Sefolosha will get time behind Korver. It's a versatile group and Budenholzer could get creative with the combinations that he puts out on the floor.
4. What was most impressive about Budenholzer’s first season as head coach?
I think the most impressive thing about Budenholzer's first season was how quickly the players bought in to the system. Atlanta was one of the top passing teams in the league last year and should be even better with a full season from Horford.
5. How do you think the Raptors will do this season?
I really liked what I saw from the Raptors last season and I have been a fan of Dwane Casey's for some time now. I think he has done a terrific job bringing the team along and it will be interesting to see if they have more growth left in them. They were fun to watch and looked like they were having fun which was great to see after the way last season started for them.