Definitely picked the perfect week to start a new weekly thing called The Week That Was where we look back at the week that was. Things started ominously last Sunday when the Raptors blew a 16-point lead at home to the Detroit Pistons, prompting a Kyle Lowry to ask for some change without explicitly saying what he wanted (Dwane Casey? Less DeMar DeRozan in crunchtime? A trade?).
Well, we didn’t have to wait long as Masai Ujiri pulled off arguably the most important trade in his Raptors tenure, sending Terrence Ross and a first round pick for Serge Ibaka, who will be a free agent this summer. If you missed our reaction thread, it’s here.
Our man Daniel Hackett took a look at the salary cap impact of the Ibaka trade. Ujiri talked about the trade, Sean Woodley and Harsh Dave discussed the deal and the state of the Raptors on the latest episode of The HeadQuarters, Daniel Reynolds wrote a bit about the overall state of the team, and Woodley also gave us a farewell to Terrence Ross.
I personally have three thoughts on the Ibaka trade:
the mainstream media will not talk about how great a terrence ross raptors jersey will look for coachella 2030— alex (@steven_lebron) February 14, 2017
drake just finished reading serge ibaka's wikipedia page— alex (@steven_lebron) February 14, 2017
don't let the serge ibaka trade distract you from the fact masai ujiri has made every trade on a blackberry— alex (@steven_lebron) February 14, 2017
Without Ibaka, the Raptors lost again to the Bulls then salvaged their pre All-Star Weekend portion of the schedule with a pretty crazy comeback win against the Charlotte Hornets at home, thanks to Jakob Poeltl and Delon Wright (????).
So, the Raptors head into All-Star break with a 33-24 record, fourth in the East and four back of the Celtics for second place in the conference. Ibaka will help, but how the seeding shakes out will really determine how far we should realistically map out a potential Raptors playoff run in a few months.
In the meantime, Lowry exited the three-point shootout on All-Star Saturday very quickly. Maybe he and DeRozan can do something exciting together for Sundays’ game.
Other odds and ends to check out: you should never miss Daniel Reynold’s Bringing Up Bebe column, here is this week’s. Russell Peddle looked back at the history of the Raptors and All-Star weekend. And saving the best for last, the D-League will be rebranded as the G-League thanks to a sponsorship deal with Gatorade, because, yeah, sure.
Have a great rest of the weekend. Enjoy the All-Star game everyone.