Where are the Toronto Raptors?

Toronto Raptors

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 01: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors drives against Evan Fournier #13 of the New York Knicks (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Toronto Raptors have the misfortune of being stuck in the toughest division in the NBA. Unlike the divisions where half the teams are trying to bottom out and secure the best odds at Victor Wembanyama, every team in the Atlantic Division is making a run for the playoffs.

Even with the Kevin Durant situation dominating the NBA discourse, the Brooklyn Nets remain a team to be concerned about. With the reigning Eastern champion Celtics and the always dangerous 76ers in the division, Toronto needs to be worried about their ability to repeat last year’s miracle playoff birth.

With the Knicks making some big free agent additions and remaining firmly in the Donovan Mitchell chase, no game in the division will be an easy time for the Raptors. Toronto is going to fight and claw to win 48 games again despite some of the new additions.

With the offseason frenzy starting to officially come to a close and the Raptors pivoting toward starting to get back in the swing of things, it’s time to take stock of the division. Which teams are destined for success, and which teams will be stuck at the bottom of the standings?

NBA Atlantic Power Rankings: Where are the Toronto Raptors?

5. New York Knicks

Even if the Knicks don’t get Mitchell, the additions of Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein to a team that already had RJ Barrett on the roster will make New York much stronger than last year. However, this team still has holes that could come back to bite them against Toronto.

Julius Randle is still the leading scorer, which will be problematic for a team with eyes on the postseason. With some aging veterans occupying pivotal roles in the rotation and an emphasis on young role players stepping up, New York could either be a smashing success or bottom out once again.

The Toronto Raptors are better than the Brooklyn Nets.

4. Brooklyn Nets

While Durant has not been traded just yet, these rankings are operating under the assumption that the Nets are not going to have him back. Even with a deep roster featuring Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, and Seth Curry, Steve Nash’s system makes little sense.

With a lack of attention paid to defense and a squad full of both ring-chasing veterans declining in value or young players that have not lived up to their full potential quite yet, Brooklyn is going to be in for a bumpy ride without Durant. The Raptors should take advantage.

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