Where do the Toronto Raptors rank in the Eastern Conference?

Toronto Raptors - Marc Gasol (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Marc Gasol (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
6 of 6
Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Marc Gasol (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

1. Philadelphia 76ers

Despite losing Jimmy Butler, the Philadelphia 76ers might have had one of the best offseasons in the NBA.

In the sign-and-trade that sent Butler to the Miami Heat, the Sixers picked up Josh Richardson, while other pieces were sent to the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers.

Now, after re-signing Tobias Harris to a monster 5-year $180million contract and signing Al Horford to a 4-year $109million deal, the Sixers possess the biggest starting line-up in the league, with the 6-foot-6 Josh Richardson being the smallest player.

At this point, the Sixers look like the runaway favorites in the Eastern Conference, bucking the trend of teams going small by going in the completely opposite direction. It’s a direction that may well work. The Sixers startled the Raptors with their length in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, and but for the first-ever Game 7 buzzer-beater, may have well gone on to win the NBA Finals.

Alas, they look for redemption this year. The frontcourt of Joel Embiid and Horford will terrify opposing teams, and given that we’ve seen Embiid occasionally switch out onto the perimeter, the flexibility of this team is frightening.

The Sixers are running it back with the most talented roster in the league, from top to bottom. Re-signing James Ennis, who turned into their best bench player last season, on such a team-friendly deal is a great pick-up.

It’s only fair to mention Ben Simmons at some point too, the point forward is one of the most devastating players in the game — even without a jump shot — and looks set to take on a large portion of ball-handling duties this season.

Next. Re-signing Patrick McCaw is shrewd business for the Toronto Raptors. dark

There’s now an adequate amount of floor spacing on the team, even without J.J. Redick, who took his talents to New Orleans.

It’s only July and nothing is set in stone, but the Philadelphia 76ers look like the best team in the Eastern Conference. Maybe in all of the league.