Raptors Drop a Spot to 26 on ESPN.com's "Future Power Rankings" List


Not exactly a rosy day for Toronto Raptors' fans.

First, the news regarding Ed Davis, who apparently was not invited to play in the NBA's upcoming Rookie-Sophomore game at All-Star Weekend. (Tiago Splitter appears to have gotten the nod.)

Maybe no surprise there based on Davis' play this season, but disappointing nonetheless considering his rookie campaign, which seemed to have him poised to be on the sophomore squad this season.

On top of this, ESPN.com just posted the latest update on its NBA Future Power Rankings...

...which the Raptors finished 26 in, even dropping a spot from last time. (ESPN Insider)

From the piece:

Virtually nothing has changed since we checked in on them last March. The Raptors are still a long, long way from coming together in a coherent fashion. Overall, they slipped another spot in the rankings to No. 26 as they continue to idle at the bottom of the East standings.

But there are reasons for optimism. For starters, many NBA scouts are very high on last year's draft pick, Lithuanian big man Jonas Valanciunas...and (the team) is also in line for a high pick this June in what looks to be a very strong draft.

On the downside, much of their young talent is still a work in progress. After a terrific sophomore season, DeMar DeRozan has regressed quite a bit this season. The team also still has gaping holes at both the small forward and point guard positions going forward (Jose Calderon is solid, but he's not the point guard of the future). And even with the cap room, will it really matter? Lots of teams are poised to have major cap space the next few years, and Toronto hasn't really been a marquee destination for top free agents.

Yikes.

OKC comes out on top with Miami, Chicago, the LA Clippers and Indiana rounding out the top five.

The Raptors are now ahead of only New Orleans, Detroit, Phoenix and Charlotte, a fairly motley crew.

Unfortunately ESPN.com's assessment, based on various factors from current talent level to NBA market, is a fairly accurate one I'd argue, and the club really is going to be stuck in the mud until current youngsters like DeRozan and Davis take big steps forward developmentally and the team brings in some additional blue chip talent.

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