A tumultuous trade deadline and the transition to the buyout market have transformed the East's elite rosters. Where do the Raptors stack up now?
After an exhilarating week of rumors and roster shakeups that have had league-wide repercussions, the annual NBA trade deadline has come and gone. With an Eastern Conference that is still wide open, the Toronto Raptors, along with their rivals have treated this past deadline as an all-out arms race, trading in their stockpiled assets, for win-now type weapons.
The Raptors still have a few final roster spots remaining for the buyout market, but for the most part, all the flashy and statement-making moves have already been made.
The 2018-2019 campaign for the Raptors has been largely regarded as an all-in season, where the stakes for the franchise are at an all-time high. In order to get Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Marc Gasol to Toronto, the Raptors have compromised some of their future by getting rid of youthful, productive prospects like Jakob Poeltl, Delon Wright, and Jonas Valanciunas.
Obviously, Leonard, Green, and Gasol are all upgrades at their positions, but with Kawhi's pending free agency casting a shadow over the Raptors, the question that remains is whether the Raptors have done enough to make it to the finals. If they do, Toronto could return enough pieces to be a contender for several seasons. If they don't, the Raptors could start the rebuilding process.
Most recently, Jeremy Lin has been added as the newest Raptor addition, but things are once again quieting down. So now that the dust has settled somewhat, let's take a look at why the Raptors will (or won't) be taking Canada's team to the coveted NBA Finals in its current form.