Lost in the Eastern Divisional Round 4-0
The Raptors got embarrassed in a way that was honestly humorous. LeBron just ran through the Raptors completely taking away their will to fight. The Raptors had an up and down season with Lowry up until the all star break looking like the best point guard in the east and Demar being so much better at Demar things. Injuries plagued both stars at different times of the year and they were unable to take the 1 seed, which I have 0 doubt in my mind they would have had if both were healthy all the way through. The Raptors made aggressive moves this year. They got a player with the sole idea of hindering LeBron with P.J. Tucker. They needed better rim protection so they went out and got Serge Ibaka. The Raptors are attempting to make moves to uplift the core players to really make a push against the Cavaliers. The issue is not the role players though as much as it is the core.
Demar and Lowry are now known to be horrific playoff performers as they have shown it every year. Demar got a new contract and Lowry is up this season which leaves a big question for the Raptors. Do they attempt to blow things up and start over to make a push at being a real contender or do they hold onto what is the best run in franchise history? The latter seems more likely as blowing up is not an easy thing to do nor is it a quick solution.
The team SHOULD resign Lowry. This is without a shadow of a doubt the best team in Raptors history. Many people believe it is championship or bust. If the Raptors get the second or third round every year that is not a failure. Brooklyn Nets have failed, Phoenix Suns are failing, the Orlando Magic are failing. Maintaining relevancy by being in the playoffs for what could be 6-7 years in a row is in no way a failure.
Serge Ibaka, Patrick Patterson, and P.J. Tucker are all up this season. In all honesty the Raptors should try to retain each of them. P.J. Tucker is better than DeMarre Carroll at this point, Ibaka still gives every team he goes to great rim protection, and Patterson is an amazing stretch 4 despite his playoff struggles. There is not anyone in free agency that jumps off the page as a huge help to the Raptors efforts and these guys all bring positives to the table.
The DeMarre Carroll addition is the one bad move the organization has made. At this point they should trade him for anything they can because he is not helping the team. P.J. Tucker is a better defender and a better shooter.
The Raptors should look at D.J. Wilson with the 23rd pick. He’s a 6’10 athletic forward out of Michigan and was a 37%3PT shooter his sophomore season. He can become a solid backup at either the 3 or 4 spot.
The Raptors despite as an organization had a great season. The only thing lacking the proper execution in all of these moves lies in the stars themselves. Unless they ascend in the playoffs rather than have the horrible downfall they normally do they will never be a real contender. That is okay though. Not everyone can be expected to compete for a championship and the Raptors should be proud of the results the past few years.