Pre-Draft Analysis

Areas Of Strength
Short answer: The regular season. The Raptors were the only team to rank in the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency. They made improvements on both ends of the floor this season, moving the ball more on offense and switching more on defense. At the same time, they developed the best bench in the league. The result was a franchise-record 59 wins and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. This team has the most wins in the East over the last five years and is built to win another 50 games next season.

Needs Work
Short answer: The playoffs. For the third straight season, the Raptors were eliminated by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. This was seemingly the year for the Raptors to break through, but in postseason in which Cleveland needed seven games to get through both the first round and the conference finals, the Cavs swept through Toronto, scoring more than 120 points per 100 possessions over the four games. The result got head coach Dwane Casey fired and remains inexplicable.

Two Stats That Matter

1 -- The Raptors were the only team to rank in the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency in the regular season.

121.5 -- In getting swept in the conference semifinals, the Raptors allowed the Cleveland Cavaliers to score 121.5 points per 100 possessions, 18.5 more than the Cavs scored in the first round and 18.8 more than they scored in the conference finals.

The Way To Go
The Raptors are without a pick in the Draft, having dealt their first rounder to Brooklyn to unload the contract of DeMarre Carroll and their second rounder to Phoenix in acquiring P.J. Tucker last year. Their first order of business is finding a coach, but general manager Masai Ujiri should also explore all possibilities in the trade market to see if he can raise the ceiling of his veteran group. Retaining Fred VanVleet in restricted free agency is also a priority.

2017-18 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank) 
Offensive: 111.0 (3rd)
Defensive: 103.4 (5th)

Under Contract
F: OG Anunoby
G: DeMar DeRozan
F: Serge Ibaka
G: Kyle Lowry
F: Alfonzo McKinnie
F-G: C.J. Miles
C: Jakob Poeltl
F-G: Norman Powell
G: Malachi Richardson
F: Pascal Siakam
C: Jonas Valanciunas
G: Delon Wright

Free Agents
G: Lorenzo Brown (unrestricted)
C: Lucas Nogueira (restricted)
G: Fred VanVleet (restricted)

Recent Draft History
OG Anunoby (23)
2016: Jakob Poeltl (9); Pascal Siakam (27)
2015: Delon Wright (20)
2014: Bruno Caboclo (20); DeAndre Daniels (37); Xavier Thames (59)
2013: Terrence Ross (8); Quincy Acy (37); Tomislav Zubcic (56)
2012: Jonas Valanciunas (5)

 -- John Schuhmann

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