Did ESPN rank the Toronto Raptors correctly in their top 100?

Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kyle Lowry (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Kyle Lowry (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

Kyle Lowry

Rank: 39

Last years rank: 21

This was the first ranking which felt truly wrong. Turning 34 soon, Kyle Lowry’s best days are certainly behind him. However, he was the starting point guard for the NBA Champions, one of the league leaders in assists per game during the regular season, and continues to be one of the league’s most underrated team defenders. The charges he takes are an example of the hustle and heart he leaves on the court every game.

Heading into the 2019-20 season, Lowry will play a similar role, setting up his teammates to be successful while scoring just enough to make an impact. It would be tough to rank a 34-year-old declining point guard at the same spot as his ranking last year, but 18 spots lower seems a bit excessive.

No one behind Lowry even comes close to making the same impact. Players like Zion Williamson (42nd), Aaron Gordon (45th) and even John Collins (47th) still need to prove that they are winning players. None of them have shown that ability yet, with Zion not even having played a game.

Of the players ranked higher than Lowry, there are a few question marks. Someone like Victor Oladipo (32nd) is coming off a very serious injury. He isn’t expected to be back anytime soon and could miss the first half of the regular season at the very least.

When you combine Oladipo with unproven question marks like Jayson Tatum and Trae Young, the 39th spot feels even more ridiculous.

Expect Lowry to have another solid season as the leader of the team with a potential All-Star selection as the East is drained of talent.