2018-2019 Toronto Raptors Team Preview and Betting Picks
Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nick Nurse – Head Coach
Eastern Conference – Atlantic Division
2017 Record: 59-23
The Toronto Raptors enter the 2018-2019 NBA season with a bit of a different look than the one we saw last year. Last year, the Raptors won the Atlantic Division and went to the postseason as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference. As a reward for finishing with the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Raptors fired their Head Coach Dwane Casey.
This year, there is a New Head Coach and also some new faces of the franchise that the Raptors organization is hoping can get them past the first round of the postseason and bring home a ring for the Raptors.
Let’s dig a bit deeper into the 2018-2019 Toronto Raptors and determine where we think they will end up.
Toronto Raptors Coaching
The Toronto Raptors parted ways with Dwane Casey after he turned the team around and made them the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs last season. They have replaced him with Casey’s former assistant, Nick Nurse.
This is Nurse’s first Head Coaching position in the NBA. He has been with the Raptors organization as an assistant since 2013. Prior to being with the Raptors, Nurse coached in the D-League, where he was known for grooming players into NBA players.
During his time in the D-League, he had 23 players from his teams called up to play in the NBA.
Toronto Raptors Offseason Transactions
- July 6, 2018 – The Raptors re-signed Fred VanVleet to a 2-year contract worth $18.1 million dollars.
- July 17, 2018 – The Raptors waived Alfonzo McKinnie, who later signed with the Golden State Warriors.
- July 18, 2018 – The Raptors sent DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poltl to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
- July 20, 2018 – The Raptors re-signed Lorenzo Brown to a 1-year contract worth $1.6 million dollars.
- July 20, 2018 – The Raptors signed Chris Boucher, formerly of the Golden State Warriors, to a two-way contract.
- August 7, 2018 – The Raptors signed Jordan Loyd, formerly of Darussafaka, to a two-way contract.
- August 10, 2018 – The Raptors signed Greg Monroe, formerly of the Boston Celtics, to a 1-year contract worth $2.2 million dollars.
- October 12, 2018 – The Raptors waived Kay Felder.
- October 12, 2018 – The Raptors waived Deng Adel.
- October 12, 2018 – The Raptors waived Kyle Collinsworth.
- October 12, 2018 – The Raptors waived Eric Moreland.
Toronto Raptors Starting 5
Kyle Lowry (PG) – Lowry is really good and very much underrated for his stats. Lowry runs the floor and is elite as his position. The question remains how he will do without DeMar DeRozan playing alongside of him but if Leonard is healthy, it could be an upgrade in the long term.
Danny Green (SG) – Green’s numbers have fallen off in recent years but this year, he won’t be relied on to be the main scorer. With Lowry, Leonard and Ibaka, Green can spread the ball out and find shots that he is comfortable with.
Kawhi Leonard (SF) – Leonard is one of the best two-way players in the NBA when he is physically fit and healthy….the problem is he hasn’t been healthy enough to play in quite some time. The Raptors are optimistic that the new team and new surroundings will give some added motivation for Leonard to get back on the court.
Serge Ibaka (PF) – Will play multiple roles in this offense. He can be a strong shooter when needed and can also serve as one of the top rebounders on the team.
Jonas Valanciunas (C) – Jonas is a post up monster! He is a big man that can take up a lot of space in the lane and he even showed last year that he can jump outside and drain the three when asked.
Toronto Raptors Key Bench Players
Pascal Siakam (PF) – Siakam is in his second year with the Raptors and he is continuing to grow with each and every year. If Ibaka doesn’t play at his potential to start the season, we may see Siakam take over the starters role.
Fred VanVleet (PG) – Comes off the bench and runs one of the most talented benches in the NBA. VanVleet needs to find a way to get more minutes on the court and then he will be a true viable option in this Raptors offense.
OG Anunoby (PF) – OG is expected to become sort of the next big thing in Toronto. Last year was his rookie season and he played as expected. This year, he has experience under his belt and will be given a bit more responsibility on the court.
2018 Predictions and Betting Outlook for Toronto Raptors
The Raptors enter 2018-2019 with a ton of expectation and high hopes for making it back to the postseason and advancing deep in the playoffs. The Raptors are one of the top 3 teams to beat in the Eastern Conference.
I think Kawhi Leonard will be the key to the success here in Toronto. If Leonard stays healthy and can put minutes on his legs, then the Raptors will be a very strong team.
I think they have a legitimate chance at not only winning the Eastern Conference but if they mend together as a team, they will have a strong chance at advancing out and competing for the NBA Finals.
Our friends over at MyBookie have set the following lines on the Toronto Raptors:
- Odds to Win NBA Championship: +1500
- Odds to Win Eastern Conference Championship: +350
- Odds to Win Atlantic Division: +250
- NBA Regular Season Wins Total: 55
Don’t forget to check out our NBA Betting Guide to stay up to date on all of the happenings with each team in the NBA throughout the season!