Which NBA playoff teams face uncertain futures?Cat:未分類
It required five postseasons with no title before Masai Ujiri had seen enough.
The Toronto Raptors had apparently tapped out with DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry anchoring the backcourt. In five seasons out of 2013-14 into 2017-18, the Raptors won more regular-season matches than any other Eastern Conference team, but the Raptors watched more first-round exits compared to trips to the Eastern Conference finals, never reaching the NBA Finals.
And last July, Ujiri forced his movement. The Raptors traded DeRozan — the leading scorer in franchise history at the summit of his career — combined with Jakob Poeltl along with a top-20 shielded 2019 first-round pick into the San Antonio Spurs to get Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and cash considerations. The Lowry-DeRozan backcourt was divided, the athlete of the Year Dwane Casey was let go after seven seasons, and also a new era in Toronto had started.
The results have, so far, been positive. Despite Leonard lost about a quarter of this year, the Raptors now have better championship chances than they did at this time last year. As Ujiri’s home run swing effectively put the remainder of the league on notice. If DeRozan is not safe, who’s? Just like Miami’s Big Three triggered the age of player bureau, the Raptors could have broken the seal for other perennial underachievers to follow suit.
Read more: dannycaliff.com