Jesus. What a fall for the Toronto Raptors — the ‘this year is different’ crowd was bought in more than ever. Just for the same result in the end — this is what LeBron James does to people. I never really understood why so many people hate the guy but now it’s starting to make sense. He single handedly makes every NBA fan in the Eastern Conference miserable. Miserable for the start of the summer no less, that’s no way to live.
Anyway, I just can’t bring myself to blame this on Dwane Casey. Derozan sunk to the level of a glorified Will Barton and Kyle Lowry became the Cavaliers version of George Hill. Derozan was literally benched late in game three because he stunk up the joint. Casey can have the wrong game plan, but you can’t really fix the choke factor if your team is lead by perennial choke artists.
But, this is what LeBron does to you — he killed my Bulls led by Rose — he killed the big three Celtics which led to Doc being sent West — and he murdered these Raptors to the point of no return. The Raptors should mimic the 2013 Celtics and trade Derozan/Lowry. I’d bet my left nut the Kings would give them four unprotected firsts for those two players. “Wait, you mean we have a chance to win 41 games??!!” “Sign me the fuck up.”
I honestly think the Raptors also have a good enough young core to remain a playoff team. I honestly think OG Anunoby can become an all star. He’s my break out candidate for next season — put him in that SG role, watch the net get ripped. He also has the perfect name for an NBA All Star SG so I need this to happen.
This would also be assuming the Raps couldn’t sign anyone else. If they cleared Derozan they would have 27.8M more on the salary cap and if they dealt Lowry it would be 33.3M (Yes Lowry is being paid more than Kevin Durant). Now, we have a possible situation where a fired coach could be COY. The only thing I can compare this situation to is when David Blatt was canned in 2016 and we weren’t sure if he would coach the all-star game because the Cavaliers were number one. It ended up being Ty Lue — But still, wild stuff north of the border.
It’s ok Raps fans! We’re only about six months away from the first ‘This team is different’ article from The Ringer or SB Nation!