The Raptors finished 12th in the Eastern Conference last season, winning only 27 games and finishing an entire 6 games behind the final playoff spot. It was a disappointing campaign, to say the least, after they won the title in 2019 and made a playoff run in 2020. This is the first time they’ve missed the playoffs after seven consecutive qualifications, with 2012-13 being the last time they failed to qualify. The dip this last year isn’t without reason, though, as they lost both Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka last offseason as well as suffered plenty of injuries and even a COVID-19 outbreak mid-season. They were also the only team forced to play their home games away from home due to the pandemic’s travel restrictions, so they set up shop at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
It’s not without reward, though, as they locked up the 4th overall pick thanks to their luck in the draft lottery. The Raptors almost moved PG Kyle Lowry by the last trade deadline but weren’t able to work out a deal. Lowry will become an UFA on August 2 and it doesn’t appear he will be brought back, though a return to Toronto hasn’t been fully ruled out.
Toronto Raptors 2021 NBA Draft picks
No. 4, first round: Scottie Barnes, F, Florida State
No. 46, second round: Dalano Banton, F, Western Kentucky
No. 47, second round: David Johnson, G, Louisville
Fantasy basketball outlook
Scottie Barnes — The 6’9” forward should bring plenty of options to both ends of the court in Toronto, as he’s a fantastic playmaker while also a solid defender. He averaged 10.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in his lone season at Florida State through 24 games played. Barnes is essentially a point guard disguised as a forward, proving to be a threat on offense as he can drive in to the basket or play from the perimeter. We’ll see how much play he gets with the Raptors this season, but he could prove to be a big asset right out of the gate in your fantasy lineup.