ESPN: Future Power Rankings – Raptors at Number…

This is John Hollinger.


Players – #25
Management – #20
Money – #11
Market – #21
Draft – #12

Raptors fans are hopeful that their team is about to turn the corner. Our formula isn’t nearly as optimistic.

The team added three significant pieces this offseason. Kyle Lowry should add some much needed toughness at the point, Terrence Ross oozes potential at the wing and talented center Jonas Valanciunas is finally coming over after spending what would have been his rookie season abroad. Of the three, only Lowry expects to have an immediate impact on their record, as both Ross and Valanciunas are raw and will need time. Young players such as DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis still have a lot of room for growth, too.

On the downside, the Raptors spectacularly overpaid for Landry Fields in their quixotic attempt to lure Steve Nash to Toronto, and as a result, hampered their ability to have big-time cap space in the summer of 2013. At this point the Raptors won’t have major cap space until 2014, when they may have to use much of it to re-sign Lowry and DeRozan. They also are unlikely to have their draft pick next year — they sent it to the Rockets in the Lowry trade — and by 2014, will probably be solid enough to warrant only a late lottery pick.

While the net result of the summer was baby steps in the right direction, Toronto needs a much more dramatic overhaul to be truly relevant again.

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