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Toronto Raptors season update: Raptors trending the wrong way

The 2023/2024 NBA season is just over a quarter of the way through and assumptions can be made about how teams will fare as the campaign progresses.

Our focus here is on the Toronto Raptors and how their season has gone so far. This will include an analysis on their results, top performers, team stats, and current odds for various outright markets.

Raptors on the decline

The Raptors are 10-15 after 25 games, leaving them 11th in the Eastern Conference and one place behind the final play-in berth.

A poor start appears to be getting worse for Toronto, who in the preseason many predicted would make at least the play-in round. Toronto was inconsistent earlier in the campaign but their play has dipped further in recent weeks.

In the past two weeks, Toronto have managed just one win in six attempts and all of those games have been against conference rivals. 

The Raptors have lost twice to the New York Knicks and have also been beaten by Miami Heat, both of whom are potential postseason opponents should Toronto manage to force its way into the top 10. 

Perhaps the most disappointing of their recent defeats came against the 7-17 Charlotte Hornets, who seem destined to miss the postseason altogether. 

The Raptors ultimately lost by only three points, but they were in danger of a blowout defeat against one of the weakest teams in the East. They managed to fight their way back into the contest in the fourth quarter, even briefly taking a lead, before falling just short.

Toronto did manage to end a four-game losing sequence by beating the Atlanta Hawks in Toronto on Wednesday, but they lost when they faced the Hawks in Toronto again on Friday. 

Siakam and Anunoby trade rumors gather pace

Pascal Siakam and O.G. Anunoby continue to be linked with trades, and the more the Raptors lose, the more likely it is they deal their stars and embark on a full-fledged rebuild under first-year head coach Darko Rajakovic.

Siakam scored 33 points in the win over Atlanta and the Hawks are one of the teams who are being heavily linked with the forward, potentially with De’Andre Hunter heading to Toronto as part of the deal. 

Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings are being linked with both of the Raptors forwards, but there is apparently a preference for Anunoby from each suitor. 

Toronto also now have a bit more room to manoeuvre because on December 15, trade restrictions ended for a number of players who signed new contracts in the summer. 

Siakam, Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr., who is also being linked with a move away from Toronto, are not impacted but if required Toronto can now trade Jalen McDaniels, Garrett Temple, Jakob Poeltl and Dennis Schroder.

Barnes remains the beacon of light

Despite their poor season so far, there are a few positive signs for the Raptors and 2022 Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes is enjoying a strong campaign after what was a difficult second season.

Siakam is the leading scorer for the Raptors with 20.9 points per game but franchise player Barnes isn’t too far behind at 20.2 points per game. 

Anunoby and Schroeder are next best, at 15.5 and 15 points per game respectively, before a big drop off to the likes of center Poeltl and the underperforming Gary Trent Jr.

Their leading rebounder is Barnes, averaging an impressive 8.9 rebounds per game, which is the 20th highest average in the league and the most of any small forward.

The 22-year-old is followed in the rebounds category by Poeltl, who is averaging 8.5 rebounds per game, and Siakam, who is averaging 6.7 per game.

Barnes also ranks amongst the league’s top 10 for steals (sixth) and top 20 for blocks, averaging 1.6 and 1.2 per game respectively, highlighting his importance to the Raptors in all facets of the game despite being just 22.

Schroeder is enjoying something of a comeback following some tough years in the league prior to his arrival in Toronto in the offseason. He is the Raptors’ leading provider, averaging 6.8 assists per game, a fair bit ahead of next-best Barnes, who is averaging 5.7 assists per game.

Read more: NBA Most Improved Player Award odds

Toronto Raptors odds

The Raptors are now priced at +25000 to win the NBA Championship, the ninth-longest odds in the league.

Toronto is +300 to make the playoffs and to -400 to miss out.

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