#24 – Toronto Raptors
2011/12 Record: 23-43, no playoffs
2012/13 Projected Record: 33-49, no playoffs
Point Guard: Kyle Lowry, Jose Calderon
Shooting Guard: DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross
Small Forward: Landry Fields, Linas Kleiza
Power Forward: Andrea Bargnani, Amir Johnson
Center: Jonas Valanciunas, Aaron Gray
The X Factor:
The Raptors were looking for a breakout season last year from DeMar DeRozan, especially when Andrea Bargnani ended up missing extensive time. What they got was a regression in DeRozan’s development. With rookie Terrence Ross and new signee Landry Fields pushing for minutes on the wing this upcoming season, this could be DeRozan’s last chance to step it up.
The Raptors had a very good offseason – just look at the difference between their players added and the players they lost. They’re still very young, and probably a year of so away from being a legitimate playoff contender, but the franchise is definitely headed in the right direction. That progress might be sped up a bit if Bryan Colangelo is able to get some good trade value for Jose Calderon, who is far too good (on a team with far too many holes elsewhere) to be toiling on this team as a backup point guard.
NBA Preseason Power Rankings