The Toronto Raptors might be the toughest team to accurately slot in any sort of hypothetical Power Rankings this offseason. Did Masai Ujiri retool a team ready to win now, or does the departure of Kyle Lowry signal that they are starting to look towards the future?
The Raptors still have a very promising core of Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, and No. 4 overall pick Scottie Barnes. Considering that this team was at one point fourth in the Eastern Conference almost halfway through last year, they could tear through the rest of their group.
The East is starting to settle down after a wild, chaotic offseason. For the purposes of this ranking exercise, teams will be separated into one of four tiers, ranging from a group that should go all out in pursuit of a championship to teams that are better off packing it in and looking forward to next season.
Tier 1: Wait Until Next Year
Tier 2: Could Make The Playoffs
Tier 3: Playoff Favorites
Tier 4: Title Contenders
Where would a team like Toronto fit into the equation? Are they on track to beat the odds and make a name for themselves this year, or will they decide to dip into a proper full-scale rebuild?
Where are the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Power Rankings?
15. Orlando Magic
The Magic have a very nice young core in Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony, and Franz Wagner. Hiring Jamahl Mosley, at face value, looks like an excellent choice. However, Orlando is still a long way away from competing, and they could be on the wrong end of a few blowouts as this collection of talent starts to gel.
14. Cleveland Cavaliers
On one hand, adding Evan Mobley to a Cavs team that features three other Top 10 picks (Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro) and a $100 million center in Jarrett Allen looks very promising. On the other hand, that many highly-touted players all competing for shots and minutes in Cleveland could get ugly.
13. Detroit Pistons
Detroit’s future will be inevitably intertwined with No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham, but the Pistons have made enough adjustments to take a minor step forward when compared to a lackluster 2020-21 season. Still, with how young they are, they’ll be in the lottery once again.