By: Travis Thayer (@TheTravisThayer)
2012-13 Record: 34-48
Projected 2013-14 Finish: 4th in the Atlantic Division
Projected Starting Lineup
Is dunking ability a strength? If so the Raptors would be one of the best teams in the league. Wings Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan can absolutely fly, and that at least gets the people out of their seats once or twice a game. Add point guard Kyle Lowry to the mix, and you have one of the more athletic trios in the NBA. The three combined are the heartbeat of the Raptors. The only question is whether or not Rudy Gay will make it through the entire year in Toronto. If Gay is traded, the Raptors could add-on to already having five 1st round picks in the next four drafts.
Depth, rebounding, defense, shooting, the list goes on. The Raptors weren’t especially good at anything last year, and they didn’t make any vast improvements to their roster in the offseason. So what happens when you’re not very talented, and you have a Rudy Gay on your team? You trade him and build for the future.
The Raptors just haven’t been able to figure it out. It seems they always get a nice player here and there, but they haven’t been able to build a whole roster of nice players. Again the Raptors have a very good player in Rudy Gay, but it’s almost irrelevant that he will be traded before the year ends. If and when Gay is traded, the Raptors could have accumulated a ton of first round picks for the foreseeable future. Now all they have to do is cash in on those picks, so they can start building towards a playoff berth.