The Last Roar of the North

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Raptors

Over Reaction:

It’s over, just call off the rest of the playoffs, the Raptors were blown out by the Cavaliers, and people are already calling to skip over the series. Going into the fourth, the Cavs had a lead of 22 and were running away with the game, DeMar DeRozan played 35 minutes with 19 points and was -32 for the GAME!

Kyle Lowry had 20 points in 40 minutes and was a -11. The travesty that is the playoff Raptors may cause the entirety of Canada to separate from North America. The soon to be ‘suburb’ of the North Pole has been nothing but a playoff disappointment.

Once again, the Cavaliers are wiping the floor with the hopes and dreams of eastern Canada.

Patrick Patterson and Jonas Valanciunas have been on the verge of unplayable. Patterson is shooting a terrifying 29% from the field, while Valanciunas has trouble guarding anyone outside of Tristan Thompson. After a shaky first round win against a young Bucks squad, their chances against the Cavs have never looked worse. Except for last year when they looked even shakier as a two seed. Justin Trudeau may likely issue a state of the ‘Maple Leaf’ for the country to discuss possibly deporting the Raptors to Seattle.

Tristan Thompson will renounce his Canadian citizenship in the middle of game three in Toronto. The Raps barely got out of the first round, and they’re going out in five games in round two. Blow up the roster!!!

What do the Raptors have to lose?

Whether they win or lose after the playoffs, Lowry will have to decide on what he wants to do this offseason. Lowry has reached the last year of his contract, assuming he declines his player option for 12 million next season he will become an unrestricted free agent.  At 31 and ten years in the league, Lowry will be able to sign a huge Max deal with Toronto, but do they want to?

While the Toronto loses every first game of a playoff series, that’s something you can’t do against LeBron James and expect to come back. They traded for P.J Tucker & Serge Ibaka this season to boost their roster against the Cavs. This is the matchup they’ve been preparing for all year, and yet they still don’t seem capable of making a dent.

The Cavs came out with more energy, they were quicker, playing well together and the Raptors looked lost. Now in past years, there has been room for growth with the Raptors but not this year. If the Raptors to lose to Cleveland, they’ll be in the unfortunate situation of having to pay Lowry & Ibaka. Both players will be seeking a Max contract, but both appear to be ready for the decline. Ibaka seems to be on the wrong side of 27 as his productivity decreases and the gray in his hair increases. Giving a max or close to a max deal longer than two years to Ibaka may be a disaster.

Even if the front office is willing to make the insane decision to resign both of them, they’ll have trouble with that. The Raptors will not have enough salary room to resign both players and will likely have to move another player to just to fit them in.

Although, they aren’t going to be the only team bidding for the services of the two….Dinosaurs….. Anyways, Philadelphia is rumored to be interested in Lowry and could garner interest from multiple teams if Chris Paul signs early. As we saw last season when presented with a similar situation, the Hawks would not give Al Horford a Max deal. While Raptors entire game wraps around Lowry, it is a serious question as to whether they want to max out a 31-year-old 6’1″ point guard. Thus sealing their fate as the East Clippers (except they never had a chance).

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