On May 7, the Toronto Raptors were swept in the playoffs by Lebron James and the Cavaliers for the second year in a row. After a first place seed in the Eastern Conference and another solid season in 2017-18, it seems that the current Raptors team just doesn’t quite have enough to compete for a championship. Many have thought that they are just a piece or two away for the past couple of seasons.
Now that there offseason has begun, and changes are already being made after the teams’ head coach Dwayne Casey was sent packing. With a new coach, fans from up north are hoping for a culture change, and to add a third piece to tie in with DeMar Derozan and Kyle Lowry.
Those changes that fans want may not be coming anytime soon. According to basketball specialist Sascha Paruk at Sports Betting Dime: “There are rumblings of trades for DeAndre Jordan, Andrew Wiggins, and Demarcus Cousins. But given how much money the Raps already have committed for 2018-19, acquiring a high-priced player would necessarily involve a massive roster shake-up, and GM Masai Ujiri has proven to be a cautious and patient man, not one prone to reactionary dealings. That means, come September, the Toronto roster is apt to look similar to how it looks now, and the changes that do take place (e.g. potentially losing breakout bench star Fred VanVleet) likely won’t improve their chances of winning next year.
Unless LeBron James takes his stockpile of Raptor Kryptonite to the Western Conference, expect Toronto to open at long odds to win the 2019 NBA title, and even the Eastern Conference, somewhere in the 40/1 – 50/1 range for the former and 18/1 – 25/1 range for the latter.” Paruk added that the lines will open for next year as soon as the championship game ends. For bettors they should consider some of the recommended sites listed here, since futures can be placed throughout the season, it’s a good idea to review for transparency.
There is no doubt that the 2018 offseason will be one of the most important ones in team history. A decision will have to be made whether or not an aging Lowry and Serge Ibaka will be worth trying to build upon in the future. They have little to no money to spend with four players making upwards of 15 million dollars next season, With little money and a GM who does not seem to take a lot of chances, this could be the end of an era in Raptors basketball.
This team that Ujiri has built has had the best five year run in franchise history. Their record from this season at 59-23 was the best season the Raptors have had in their 23 years of existence. To have that success fade into black without a championship would be a disappointing end to an incredible run from Toronto.