Player grades based off pre-season expectations

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Toronto Raptors Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors as a team have outperformed all expectations for the 2020 season. Here we look at how each player fared compared to expectations.

It’s not very often that a team wins a championship one year, and then the next are predicted to miss the playoffs as a whole. Well, that’s exactly what happened to the Toronto Raptors this season.

Rocking their gigantic rings, and playing underneath the championship banner, the Raptors were ready to start a Kawhi Leonard-less chapter.

Toronto brought back the entire playoff rotation except Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, and added Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and rookie Terence Davis II to the mix. Yet, the majority of people saw them completing the season as a middle of the road playoff team, and not making that big of a splash.

Did Leonard truly carry Toronto that much? That’s what people thought, and quite honestly, those people couldn’t have been more wrong. The Raptors hit the ground running with a message to prove this year, and no one could have ever seen it coming.

As it stands, the Raptors are 46-18, with the third-best record in the East; better than the LA Clippers, who a certain two-time Finals MVP left Toronto for.

So, how are the Raptors so much better than everyone expected them to be? The players on the roster must have vastly outperformed expectations for that to be the case.

I took a dive into how the players on the Raptors’ roster performed, based on my personal pre-season expectations for each individual, and gave them a grade for it.

Here are the criteria:

F – Vastly underperformed my expectation for them. Either I strongly overshot, or they strongly underplayed.

D – Underperformed my preseason expectations, but still performed up to portions of my expectations.

C – Met preseason expectation spot on, and performed exactly how I expected them to.

B – Played above my preseason expectations, but still underperformed on some levels.

A – Played well above my expectations for them, and I would have never predicted this level of play.

The grades may also include + or – on top of their letter grade to strengthen or weaken it. I also did not include any players who were on two-way contracts. That list includes OShae Brissett, Paul Watson, and Shamorie Ponds. I also did not include rookie, Dewan Hernandez, considering he only totaled slightly over 10 minutes on the season and was injured almost the entire year.