Community Shootaround: Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have a recent tradition of being really good in the regular season, but not in the playoffs. Toronto entered this season with two straight division titles and two straight first-round exits. The Raptors earned their third consecutive division crown, but today’s Game 1 loss to the Pacers has raised fears of another early knockout.

In 2013/14, Toronto won the Atlantic Division with a 48-34 record before losing to the Nets in seven games. Last season, the Raptors improved to 49-33, but were swept by the Wizards in a stunning playoff loss. They entered this year’s playoffs with a 56-26 mark and the second seed in the East. The team is clearly improving, but its postseason troubles create a difficult decision for the front office. Should the Raptors be judged by their performance in the regular season or the playoffs?

If Toronto suffers another first-round flameout, it’s not clear what changes might be made. Head coach Dwane Casey could be in trouble, but he may be saved by his regular-season success and good relationship with the players. Casey has compiled a 210-184 record in nearly five full seasons with Toronto. He has one year left on his current contract at $3.75MM.

The foundation of the team seems set. Its All-Star backcourt of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry work well together. DeRozan is headed for free agency this summer and is expected to re-sign, while Lowry still has two seasons and $24MM left on the contract he inked in 2014. Starting center Jonas Valanciunas signed a four-year, $64MM rookie-scale extension over the offseason and is under contract through the 2019/20 season. Backup swingman Terrence Ross received a three-year, $31MM extension in November and is signed through 2018/19.

The Raptors are coming off a productive summer in free agency, signing combo forward DeMarre Carroll for $58MM over four years, point guard Cory Joseph for $30MM over four years, center Bismack Biyombo for $6MM over two years with a player option for next season and power forward Luis Scola for one season at $3MM. In addition to DeRozan, Biyombo and Scola, power forwards James Johnson and Jason Thompson will be free agents this summer. The Raptors won’t have nearly as much cap room to chase free agents this year and are locked into the 27th pick in June’s draft.

That leads us to tonight’s question. If the Raptors exit the playoffs in the first round again, what should be done to shake up the team? Would you decide that Casey is a poor postseason coach and make a change on the bench? Would you break up the starting backcourt, either by letting DeRozan leave in free agency or trying to trade Lowry? Would you attempt to move Valanciunas, Ross or Carroll to get out from under those contracts?

Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the topic. We look forward to what you have to say.

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11 Comments on "Community Shootaround: Toronto Raptors"

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Harold
Member
Harold
5 months 9 days ago

I think it is time to let Casey go and find a new coach that canntake the raptors to where they want to go. Maybe try to sign and trade Derozan and trade Lowry.

Dina
Member
Dina
5 months 9 days ago

I agree with you on letting Casey go. So far, he’s ignored all stats as far as PF Scola problem. He leaves Patterson on the bench for so long. His rotation doesn’t make sense esp with Scola on the starting 5.

Do your homework
Member
Do your homework
5 months 9 days ago

We also have a lottery pick from the Knicks

mikey
Member
mikey
5 months 9 days ago

I wouldn’t freak out yet. But if they do lose in the first round again I think thy shouldn’t do anything unless it is gonna make a major impact. They already are a lot better then last year and next year and if they develop their players a little more I think they could possibly challenge the cavs for the finals spot.

Starship Pegasus
Member
Starship Pegasus
5 months 9 days ago

If Demarcus Cousins is unobtainable for the Raptors, then I think it would be smart to try get themselves a veteran leader like Chandler or Noah, someone with a backbone who would give them some added toughness

formerlyz
Member
formerlyz
5 months 9 days ago
The way they play, its difficult to win in the playoffs, unless your best players make tough shots. They dont move the ball well. They can get away with it a little more in the regular season, b/c you get certain calls that get those guys to the free throw line more. They need to be able to get easier baskets in the half court. I anticipated this, and said it even before the season. They are going to have trouble scoring. Thats why I had Indiana in 6 games for most of the year on them… If they lose… Read more »
troy
Member
troy
5 months 9 days ago

great points !!!!!

Jamal
Member
Jamal
5 months 9 days ago
Forget about the regular season record. The raps play in the Atlantic division which is the weakest division in the NBA. You play each of those teams 4 times. The raps took care of business against the Atlantic division which explains the improvement on the season wins. That aside, we rely too much on the “all star” backcourt. I say all star in quotations because I personally don’t think they are all star caliber players. Don’t get me wrong they are really good players at times, but not consistent enough especially in the playoffs to be considered legit all stars.… Read more »
MGcode
Guest
MGcode
5 months 9 days ago

Facts.

Chris Crouse
Admin
5 months 9 days ago

Head coach might be the place to make a change, but Casey is a good one, and the Raptors will have a few assets to make an upgrade. Adding another piece who can play the four may be the way to go.

Macker88
Member
Macker88
5 months 2 days ago
JV has shown his value thus far through the 4 playoff games and can be a dominate presence. The Raptors simply don’t use him enough and Casey doesn’t play him enough in the second half of games. If the Raptors lose in Round 1, I’d be in favor of firing Casey. I believe he does a lot of positive things, but he manages his bench poorly and is poor with situational match up’s which come playoff time are exploited by better coaches. He’s been outcoached in the playoffs the past two seasons and thus far through this round. I wouldn’t… Read more »
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