2 Obvious, 2 subtle moves Darko Rajakovic must make to maximize Raptors' lottery odds

Kelly Olynyk, Toronto Raptors
Kelly Olynyk, Toronto Raptors / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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The dream is dead.

Even as the Toronto Raptors stumbled, tripped, staggered and flailed to a record well below .500, they hinted that a better team was hidden deep within. The bottom of the Play-In Tournament bracket stayed close enough that making the postseason never seemed completely out of reach. Even when the Raptors traded OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam that flicker of hope was still there.

When the month of March began the Raptors had been hot and the rest of the East's middle-class was not, again keeping the dream alive of a Toronto run to close the season that would propel them into the postseason. Then Scottie Barnes fractured his hand, the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets ripped off a few wins, and the Raptors dropped three-straight to fully extinguish that flicker of hope and put to bed their chances of making the postseason.

It's time for the Toronto Raptors to pivot

Now their attention pivots in the other direction. The Raptors are 23-41 on the season, the seventh-worst record in the NBA. That matters because they owe their 2024 first-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs unless it falls within the first six picks. They have one win more than the Memphis Grizzlies and if they can "catch" Memphis their odds of keeping the pick go up substantially.

How can Toronto maximize its chances of losing the rest of the way to try and keep their pick? What moves can head coach Darko Rajakovic make to improve their lottery standings? Let's look at two moves that are obvious and two that are more subtle and see how the Raptors chart a couse to retaining their pick this year.