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Home - Rejuvenated Raptors ready for Championship push

  Rejuvenated Raptors ready for Championship push

In any other era, the Toronto Raptors would probably have come a lot closer to winning an NBA Championship over the past four years. As it is, though, the Raptors have found themselves in the shadow of the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, two of this generation's best teams.

But, as we edge closer to the start of the new NBA season, the Toronto Raptors are again looking as though they finally have all the pieces of the puzzle to make a real charge at the championship. Having passed the 50-win mark in the past two seasons, the Raptors look a very decent bet to achieve that feat again this year.

demar derozan

Having finished third in the Eastern Conference last season, the Raptors headed into the playoffs as one of the in-form teams in the league. Unfortunately for them, though, they came up against a Cleveland Cavaliers team that produced some of the best basketball they had all year in the Conference semi-finals.

Swept 4-0, the Raptors were right to feel disappointed as they went into their summer break, and that pain will only act as further motivation to Dwayne Casey and his roster as we get closer to the beginning of the new season.

Looking to cut the gap between themselves and the league's top two teams, the Raptors have undergone some relatively serious changes during the offseason. While four players have left, mainly veterans, only two have arrived. Some might claim the franchise are weaker than they were this time last season, but based on the past four years it's hard not to trust the Toronto management.

Priced at +2000 with the latest bet365 NBA odds, many feel the Raptors won't be as capable this season, but you'd have to be a brave soul to write off a team that have finished the past two years with more than 50 regular season wins to their name.

When it came to the draft, the Raptors used their 23rd overall pick to select OG Anunoby. The small forward has all the tools to be a huge success in Toronto, fitting in perfectly to how the franchise want this team to play. One of, if not the, most talented two-way forwards in the draft, it was something of a surprise that the Raptors were able to snap him up.

In terms of keeping players in Toronto, the franchise have re-signed three-time All-Defensive honoree Serge Ibaka to a three-year deal, keeping together one of the best defenses in the league alongside Jonas Valanciunas.

kyle lowry

Perhaps the biggest move of the summer for Toronto has been convincing Kyle Lowry to sign a new contract with the franchise. The three-time All-Star has proven himself to be one of the league's most consistent point guards, playing a huge role in Toronto's success over the past four years. Coming off the back of a career-best campaign, keeping Lowry in Canada could well be the difference when the season gets underway.

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