The Toronto Raptors are considered as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. However, their current roster is obviously not enough to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Golden State Warriors in a best-of-seven series. DeMar DeRozan, who served as the team’s leader in the past seasons, is expected to be available on the trading block if the Raptors “fall off badly” this season.
The explosive backcourt duo of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry is undeniably the major reason behind the Raptors’ success in the last four years. In the 2015-16 NBA season, they managed to bring the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in their franchise history. However, Toronto hasn’t made any huge improvement on their roster to become a legitimate title contender.
The Raptors will enter the 2017-18 NBA season with almost the same lineup. Though they are expected to enter the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season, they are currently not in a position to challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference supremacy. According to Frank Gunn of the Canadian Press, the Raptors’ deep playoff run will depend on the performance of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey reportedly plans to switch Lowry to shooting guard while DeRozan will play at the point. This is quite a risky move for the Raptors since both guards became All-Star caliber players by playing their normal positions. According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, rumors will start to swirl around DeMar DeRozan if the Raptors will suffer a disappointing season.
“Here’s a wild one: If the Raptors fall off badly — and I don’t think they will — I wouldn’t be shocked if DeMar DeRozan’s name pops up in the rumor mill.”
The idea of trading DeMar DeRozan will surely disappoint the Raptors’ fans since it could mark the start of the rebuilding process. If DeRozan will be successfully traded, it will not be a surprise if Kyle Lowry and other veteran players will be next in line. However, it should be noted that it’s only one of Lowe’s predictions in the 2017-18 NBA season.
As of now, the Raptors should focus on improving their performance on both ends of the floor. DeRozan and Lowry should do everything to make their new strategy work. If everything goes as the Raptors planned, they may end up upsetting “Super Teams” and reach another milestone this season.
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