Best-case: Jonas Valanciunas enjoys such a fantastic breakout season that Drake and Adam Silver present him with the Most Improved Player award in the spring. The Lithuanian centerís play is so singularly promising that no one bothers to get upset when new GM Masai Ujiri dumps Rudy Gay and/or DeMar DeRozan and/or Landry Fields and/or Kyle Lowry in a fire sale to shed salary and accumulate assets.
Worst-case: The Raptors flirt with a playoff run long enough that Ujiri opts to stay put at the deadline, only to fall back into the late-lottery down the stretch, leaving the team without its first postseason appearance since 2008 or a top lottery pick. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford gets arrested trying to smuggle drugs through an airport while wearing the teamís dinosaur mascot costume.
Youíll never believe this, but Toronto once again finds itself in no manís land ó not good enough to make the playoffs for sure, but not bad enough to land a top draft pick ó without a clear-cut core and without a roster thatís efficient in its allocation of resources. That means thereís plenty of work to do, and thatís a good thing, because Ujiri is a proactive, talented executive with the proven ability to execute a big-picture vision.
Perhaps the US media doesn't take these predictions as serious as most Raps fan do (a cursory glance showed much more serious assessments for other teams).
It seems that the author is more on the tank bandwagon than the playoffs bandwagon that has been so hotly (and overly) debated all summer long.
Nice to see props to MU.
I actually hope the Rob Ford thing happens, cause that would be epic.
To be honest, a late lottery pick this year is still a good pick, so if that is the worst-case scenario then we would still get a pretty good player. Not a great franchise altering talent, but players like Glen Robinson and Wayne Seldon are predicted to be there at the end of the lottery. Perhaps a late lottery pick is a great trade bait; move down and get a future 1st while still drafting a good player.