Steve Kyler from Hoopsworld has to be one of the most optimistic (or realistic) NBA media types out there when it comes to the Raptors. I recall a couple weeks back he discussed how things in Toronto likely won't be as bad as many think since Bosh's departure. Today he reaffirms that with his comments below.
Not that Kyler knows anything forsure, but his response here seems pretty bang on for those who think Toronto could be in the running for the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes.Andrew in Toronto: Think the raps can slip into that 8th spot this year? I think the Raps could really surprise some people this year. Young, fun, athletic, good chemistry. Sure they'll get blown out some games, but could be fun to watch!
Steve Kyler: I like this Raptors' squad... I think this team is better from the first man to the last than any team in a while and they don;t have nearly the drama around them... they need young guys to grow up fast, but there was a swagger about them in Vegas and its very similar to the swagger OKC has...
I am not ready to say 8th seed, but I think they can be in the discussion for sure... but a lot of guys have to grow up and play to their ability.
Source - Steve Kyler Hoopsworld ChatRaptor Fan in Toronto: Hey Steve, any chance the Raptors will use the TPE on a player before the start of the season. Seems like the Nuggets are on fire sale. Could a guy like Nene be had?
Steve Kyler: What it seems and what it is are two different things... there hasn't been a voice in Denver to defuse the rumors and speculation that feeds itself.
What you think you know about Denver and whats really going on are two different things... The Nuggets view themselves as a Western Conference Finals team as constructed... they are not tearing that apart on a whim because people in Carmelo's life think the grass is greener in New York.
As for Toronto and the TPE... Bryan says he'll use it on the right player... but keep in mind the Raptors payroll is just over $61 million... unless they get a home run player, the odds they add a bunch of money to the salary cap is unlikely and they won't pay luxury tax unless it assures them a 2nd round playoff berth.