NBA Playoff 2024 format, dates, rounds & more: Former Raptors to root for in playoffs

Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors / Tom Szczerbowski/GettyImages
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What former Raptors can I root for in the 2024 NBA Playoffs?

New York Knicks: The New York Knicks have been one of the Eastern Conference's best teams when healthy, and that included a scorching-hot stretch right after trading the Raptors for OG Anunonby. He fit like a glove with the Knicks and is expected back before the start of the playoffs.

Coming over in the deal was former Raptors big man Precious Achiuwa, who has played a surprisingly large role over the past month with multiple Knicks frontcourt players on the sideline. He gives Toronto fans multiple players to root for when watching the Knicks.

Indiana Pacers: The other major Raptors player to head out this season was Pascal Siakam, and the multi-time All-NBA forward is now on the Indiana Pacers. They are a fun team to watch regardless due to their fast pace and dominant offense, with All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton leading the way. Unfortunately, Canada-native Bennedict Mathurin is out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.

Philadelphia 76ers: The Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors have had their fair share of playoff tussles in recent history, including that epic seven-game series in 2019 that the Raptors won at the buzzer with the quadruple-bounce shot Kawhi Leonard landed in Game 7. It may be a stretch for fans of the Raptors to root for the stars and stripes.

With that being said, the best player in franchise history will be suiting up, and that may be reason enough to tune in. Kyle Lowry joined the 76ers on the buyout market and will be playing a rotation role in pursuit of a second championship.

LA Clippers: Speaking of Kawhi Leonard, the best player on that 2019 championship team left the team for the LA Clippers and looks to be in position to compete for another title of his own. Some Raptors fans understood that Kawhi was only a one-year rental while others felt betrayed that a star player could walk out after winning a title.

If Kawhi alone isn't enough to tune in, a couple of other former Raptors are on the Clippers as well. Longtime swingman Norman Powell has turned into one of the best "sixth men" in the league, bombing away for the Clips, while P.J. Tucker is playing spot minutes and was briefly on the Raptors many years ago.

New Orleans Pelicans: Finally, a beloved member of the Toronto Raptors during the Lowry-DeMar DeRozan years was center Jonas Valanciunas, an absolute masher in the paint who dominates the glass. The Raptors were vindicated for trading him for Marc Gasol in 2019 when they won the title, but it was still hard to see him shipped out.

After playing a few seasons in Memphis he is now the starting center for the New Orleans Pelicans, a talented team having its best season in a very long time. Valanciunas continues to overwhelm opponents with his size and strength and will be fun to root for in the playoffs this year.

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