Toronto Raptors 2016 Preview, Draft, Offseason Recap, Depth Chart, Outlook
Toronto Raptors 2016 Preview
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The Toronto Raptors are coming off their most successful season yet in which they won 56 games and made the Eastern Conference Finals. Dwane Casey has the Raptors playing hard and now they're confident after finally sniffing some serious success.
Can they repeat last years efforts?
USA TODAY Sports
Here is your 2016 Toronto Raptors NBA preview.
Key Player Losses: The big loss for the Raptors was losing center Bismack Biyombo, who broke out in the playoffs and averaged 1.8 blocks per game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Raptors also lost a pair of role players in Luis Scola and James Johnson. Scola averaged 8.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in one season in Toronto and Johnson leaves the Raps again after producing more than 1,600 points in four seasons.
Key Player Additions: The Raptors did a good job of keeping majority of their team intact. The one big pickup for Toronto was getting Jared Sullinger out of Boston. Sullinger has been a double-digit scorer for three straight seasons and is averaging 7.7 rebounds for his career. It’s also important to note that Sullinger is just 24 years old, so he likely has his best years ahead of him and should provide Toronto with much needed depth.
Draft: Jakob Poeltl is a very skilled big man who won Pac-12 player of the year last season and has a natural feel around the basket. Poeltl is a solid rim protector and rebounds a high percentage, and he’ll be a nice boost off the bench when Jonas Valanciunas comes off the floor. Pascal Siakam was a valuable late first round pick but is likely going to spend time in the D League to polish his game.
Outlook: The Raptors showed last season that they’re one of only a couple teams in the East that can push the Cleveland Cavaliers. The addition of Sullenger should help, as well as a 100 percent healthy Valanciunas and DeMarre Carroll. Experience that comes with a deep playoff run will also benefit the Raptors, as last season the team looked big eyed at times due to a lack of overall success. Toronto is certainly moving in the right direction and certainly makes a case again as the second best team in the East. I like the Raptors to push for 50 games and make another deep playoff run.