View Full Version : NBA.com Raptors 2014 Offseason Report Card

09-15-2014, 02:22 PM

Explanation of Marking System

A - Superior B - Above Average C - Average D - Below Average F - Failing

Frontcourt - Jonas Valanciunas is still just 22 years old and has plenty of room to improve. Amir Johnson dealt with ankle issues last spring, but is still steady, effective, and young for a nine-year vet.

Grade: B

Backcourt - Kyle Lowry, who should have been an All-Star last season, and DeMar DeRozan, who was an All-Star, are back. DeRozan continues to improve as a shooter and now has playoff experience to learn from.

Grade: A

Defense - The Raptors finished as a top-10 defense, but were better early in the season than late. And they had nobody to guard Joe Johnson in the playoffs. James Johnson was brought back to be that big wing defender.

Grade: B

Bench - Johnson and Lou Williams join what was already one of the best benches in the league. The Raps were at their best last season when Greivis Vasquez and Patrick Patterson (both re-signed) were on the floor.

Grade: A

Coaching - The Raptors were the only East team to rank in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency last season. That says a lot about Dwane Casey, who has earned his new three-year contract.

Grade: B

Overall Grade: B

The Raptors finished third in the Eastern Conference last season, brought their entire rotation back, added a couple of pieces to their bench, and will still have some flexibility next summer. That's good work by Casey and general manager Masai Ujiri.

The development of Valanciunas and DeRozan (who still has a ways to go to become a respectable 3-point shooter) provide hope for even more improvement, though few teams were healthier than this one last season.

After Cleveland and Chicago, the Eastern Conference looks to be wide open. But given last season's success and the value of continuity, the Raptors are clearly the top team on the next tier.