26. Toronto Raptors | Future Power Rating: 469
PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
232 (22nd) 82 (20th) 84 (22nd) 37 (22nd) 34 (25th)
The Raptors have seen better days. Toronto slid in our rankings this year after a season whose tumult was illustrated by then general manager Bryan Colangelo desperately putting his former No. 1 pick Andrea Bargnani on the trading block during a live local TV broadcast.
Bargnani was never traded, but the Raptors did absorb Rudy Gay and his swollen contract ahead of the deadline. In Toronto, Gay shot 42.5 percent from the floor, doing little to shed his label as an overpaid volume shooter. Gay is set to earn $37 million over the next two seasons.
The Raptors sputtered to a 34-54 record and a last-place finish in the Atlantic Division behind coach Dwane Casey. Colangelo has since been removed from basketball operations. The good news is that 2012-13 Executive of the Year Masai Ujiri of the Denver Nuggets might be taking over the reins in Toronto soon, but the deal has not been finalized at the time of this writing.
Aside from Gay, the Raptors have promising young talent in Jonas Valanciunas, DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson, Terrence Ross and Kyle Lowry. Whoever takes control of the organization would be wise to invest in developing Valanciunas, who showed flashes of dominance while sometimes looking like a mere pup. But at 21, he has the potential to become another Marc Gasol.
The Raptors rank in the bottom 10 in every category across the board. To change that, a star must emerge for Toronto. But they probably won't find him in the 2013 draft -- the Oklahoma City Thunder will be picking in Toronto's place at the 12th slot.
Strauss: "it's quite difficult to convince free agents that they should leave the United States. Because of this, the Raptors have overpaid the likes of DeMar DeRozan and taken on Rudy Gay's terrible contract. "