Lunchbox Links: Raptors 2013-14 NBA Season Preview Edition

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

Mmm...all the Raptors news and links you can handle while you chow down.

Oh yeah, it's season preview time so let's get to it.  Here are previews of the upcoming Toronto Raptors season from:

Via the National Post, Tim Chisholm, Holly MacKenzie and I took part in what's become an annual Raptors roundtable as the team prepares to kick off its season.

And Chisholm does double duty panel-wise, as he and the other folks at Raptors Republic discuss the upcoming season.

Let's get into some individual Raptors pieces including Bruce Arthur's article on Raptors' GM Masai Ujiri for the National Post, and Eric Koreen's look at five Raptors storylines to follow this season, also for the Post.

More Ujiri as Sportsnet's Michael Grange looks at the quandary facing Toronto's top gun; his vision, the old guard's pieces.

Which leads to this piece by the Toronto Star's Cathal Kelly: "Cue the teardown if the team doesn't take flight."

More Raptors' links?  Sure, why not!

The club finds itself sitting near the bottom of SB Nation's Power Rankings to start the season, and a potential "tanking club" via ESPN's Tank Rank column.  (Insider.) From the piece:

The Raptors are yet another team that seems to be on the NBA hamster wheel. They've flirted with everything from Tanking to going for it, but haven't stuck with anything long enough to make it work. What they're left with is a solid starting roster that includes a promising young center, Jonas Valanciunas, some athletic wings in their prime -- Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan -- and a tough, energetic point guard in Kyle Lowry. The Raptors have been trying to find new homes for both Gay and DeRozan in an attempt to move into the top five on the Tank Rank. GM Masai Ujiri knows this team's chances of making the playoffs are slim and they need to cut payroll, but the market for players like Gay and DeRozan isn't what it used to be. Toronto may be stuck at the bottom of this list all season.

I lend my two cents to Clipsnation's piece on the Clippers covering up the Lakers' banners, giving a Raps vs Leafs perspective.

And finally, former Raptors Mike James in his inaugural piece for Sportsnet.ca on tanking, Wiggins, and well...IT'S MIKE JAMES WRITING FOR SPORTSNET!!!

But enough Raptors' talk, the NBA season has returned and if you aren't buying the hype, SI.com brings you 68 reasons to watch this year including...BARGS!

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