Predicting the Final 15-Man Roster for the Toronto Raptors
Predicting the Final Toronto Raptors 15-Man Roster
The 2013-14 edition of the Toronto Raptors are looking to improve after yet another losing season for the team north of the border. Finishing with a record of 34-48, they once again failed to make the postseason, even in an Eastern Conference that typically sends at least one team to the postseason with a record below .500
In order to change their status as the basement dwellers in the Atlantic Division, the Raptors have somewhat steered away from the philosophy of being a team with international appeal. Instead, new GM Masai Ujiri approached his first offseason with the Raptors wanting to make transactions that involved players with some playoff experience paired with a sense of youthful energy.
In order for the Raptors to erase their recent disappointing history and return to the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2008 and advance to the second round of the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history, the Raptors need to stay healthy and play a dynamic and high flying style of basketball.
Going into the 2013-14 season, the Raptors feel as if they have definitely improved in all facets of the game. The team has a very loyal fan-base that should now be legitimately excited for a new brand of basketball in their city. Long gone are the days of relying on Andrea Bargnani to put his money where his mouth is and finally step up in the paint. This season's roster will be faster and much more skilled. They will have players that have tasted the playoffs in both victory and defeat, all of which makes it apparent that they will be hungry for more.
Here are the 15 players that will crack the final Raptors roster and will look to bring playoff basketball back to the city of Toronto.
15. Chris Wright
Chris Wright's freakishly explosive talent should allow him to finally get the chance he deserves off the bench at a forward position for the Raptors.
13. Dwight Buycks
Dwight Buycks turned a lot of heads during his impressive performance in the NBA Summer League and will look to do the same off the bench for the Raptors.
12. Quincy Acy
Quincy Acy will move to small forward this season and will be responsible for defending multiple positions off the bench for the Raptors.
11. Landry Fields
Landry Fields will look to get his sweet stroke back and attempt more shots beyond the arc after having ulnar nerve surgery in his elbow.
10. Aaron Gray
Backup big man Aaron Gray will have to be a stronger and tougher presence when he comes off the bench for the Raptors this season.
9. D.J. Augustin
Newly acquired D.J. Augustin is a player that brings playoff experience to a team that is in desperate need of some postseason action.
8. Terrence Ross
2013 Slam Dunk Competition winner Terrence Ross will bring his high flying antics off the bench for the Raptors this season. There's no doubt he will be very fun to watch.
7. Tyler Hansbrough
Tyler Hansbrough brings some much needed toughness and that playoff experience that the Raptors need night in and night out.
6. Steve Novak
New Raptor Steve Novak will look to continue to build his reputation as one of the league's sharpest of shooters.
5. Amir Johnson
Amir Johnson is poised to have another career year for the Raptors where he will look to pave the way for his teammates to do the scoring while he clears the lane.
4. DeMar DeRozan
Like his teammate Terrence Ross, DeMar DeRozan will need to bring his dunking game to a new level if the Raptors want to put up some serious points on their opponents.
3. Kyle Lowry
Kyle Lowry will be the author of whatever story the Raptors decide to write this season. The slick point guard will be feeding Toronto's offense on the regular all season long.
2. Jonas Valanciunas
Now that Bargnani is long gone, Jonas Valanciunas will be the center of attention when it comes to the international flavor that seems to be so popular in Toronto.
1. Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay is now the official poster boy for the Raptors. What he brings to the floor on a nightly basis will dictate the fate of the Raptors this upcoming season.