It sure looks like the Toronto Raptors are going to mix it up a great deal this summer. Fresh off firing head coach Dwane Casey after a humiliating second-round playoff exit at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto needs to find a way to be more competitive back east.
Toronto won a franchise record 59 regular season games, only to fall to LeBron James and Co. in the playoffs for a third consecutive year.
Without any room under the cap to improve their roster, this one report from Marc Stein of The New York Times suggests there’s not a single player on the Raptors’ roster that’s safe.
“Word is that the Raptors quietly explored their DeMar DeRozan trade options last summer — before they had any inkling that a breakout season was looming — and I’d fully expect Toronto to explore those possibilities again. Not just with DeRozan but with anyone and everyone on the roster,” Stein reported.
That’s a pretty loaded report right there. In short, Stein is indicating that the Raptors could very well blow this whole thing up during the summer. That includes trading DeMar DeRozan and/or Kyle Lowry.
It seems to make some sense. In no way was Toronto competitive against Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Should LeBron James decide to remain back east, there’s no reason to believe this current core can contend with him moving forward.
Toronto has $80 million committed to DeRozan, Lowry and Serge Ibaka next season. This has the Raptors a projected $27 million over the cap. Unwilling to continue spending over the luxury tax, massive moves could very well be coming up north in the next few months.