The Future is Bright in Toronto

The Toronto Raptors came up short in game 7 of their NBA Playoff match-up against the Brooklyn Nets. Greivis Vasquez inbounded the ball with 6.2 seconds with the team down 1 after Terrence Ross, the 2nd year player who was waiting to break out of his shell of poor performances, gave the Raptors a chance to win the game after stealing the ball that was inbounded and throwing it off of Paul Pierce. It happened so sudden, Kyle Lowry, “Mr.Clutch”, was blocked. Paul Pierce at 36 years old, who could barely get off the ground, was able to execute the game winning block that sent the Brooklyn Nets to the 2nd round and the Raptors packing. One could blame the refs or one could blame anybody on that court for the lose but you can’t say that the Toronto Raptors didn’t give it their all. With all the blown calls in the series the Raptors did everything that was possible against the Brooklyn Nets and the Officials. Lowry, who was not able to get off the ground after getting blocked, held his head with disbelief and was helped up by his teammates and made his way to the locker room in the glow of a standing ovation from the crowd.

This team, on December 8th, traded away their best player Rudy Gay and Quincy Acy plus Aaron Gray for four bench players from Sacramento Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Patrick Patterson, and Chuck Hayes. The Raptors were 6-12 and tanking was suggested an option by many. The Raptors did the opposite. Taking advantage of the poor Eastern Conference the Raptors were able to take the 3rd seed and never looked back. They posted a franchise record with 48 wins this season. This team went from the bottom quickly to the top and made sure they gave a message to the league that they’re coming. This team was 15 deep and every single player mattered; whether it was Landry Fields who played only 30 games or even Steve Novak. Every player was ready when their name was called, and made sure they didn’t disappoint.

The current incarnation of the Raptors team may look different next season but this team will be built to win. Raptors’ GM Masai Ujiri’s plans are to re-sign Kyle Lowry who made it pretty obvious he wants to return next season and DeMar DeRozan even feels that Lowry will return by recently stating “He isn’t worried about him.” with a laugh, when asked about Lowry’s future with the team. Ujiri is also planning on re-signing Greivis Vasquez and Patrick Patterson who had a huge impact on the Raptors success off the bench. Ujiri has been proven as a great GM and every Raptor fan should be ecstatic with what he will do. During the off-season Jonas Valanciunas, DeMar DeRozan, and Patrick Patterson will all be working with 2x NBA Champion Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon. Simply put, the future for the Raptors couldn’t look more bright; even head coach Dwane Casey will be back next season after receiving a three year contract extension. Maybe even the most hated player to put on a Toronto Raptors jersey Vince Carter could be back to end his career here. Things just keep on getting better in Raptor Land and soon enough, the league won’t be able to stop it.

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