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Old 07-20-2012, 12:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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ESPN: Playoffs for the Raptors doesn't seem like a wild expectation

They also touch on the Raptors indirect involvement in the Lin to Houston deal.

No team outside of the two directly involved in the signing and the declining of Lin's $25 million offer sheet has benefited more than Toronto. With the Knicks allegedly looking to avoid the new CBA's more punitive luxury tax, the Raptors were able to pick up Fields, in part because they offered him a very generous sum (three years, $20 million) in the presumed hopes of gunking up New York's attempt to woo Steve Nash. And Lowry, whose displeasure with playing for Kevin McHale had been well-documented, was able to get the Rockets to trade him to Toronto, effectively paving the way for the Lin signing.

Add in incoming rookies Terrence Ross, the No. 8 pick in this year's draft who has impressed here in Vegas, and Jonas Valanciunas, the No. 5 pick in the 2011 draft who is expected to finally come aboard, as well as another year under the tutelage of defensive guru Dwane Casey, and all of a sudden, a playoff berth doesn't seem like such a wild expectation for the much-maligned Raps.
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