It’s over. The Toronto Raptors will not make the play-in tournament this season.
It’s been a foregone conclusion for weeks and their chances of making the play-in tournament all but vanished after their loss to the Washington Wizards last week, but the Indiana Pacers removed any chance of a miracle with a 111-102 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.
Now, all that’s left to do for the Raptors to do is clinch that coveted seventh spot in the NBA lottery standings. As things sit now, Toronto is two games ahead of the Chicago Bulls and three games up on the Sacramento Kings for that spot and a 31.9% chance of landing an all-important top-four pick in this year’s draft. If the Raptors lose Tuesday’s game to the L.A. Clippers and Thursday’s game to the Bulls, they’ll have clinched that spot and can get back to playing Kyle Lowry for the final two games of the season.
Once things wrap up on Sunday, it’ll be right into offseason action for the Raptors who plan to stay in Tampa to conduct exit interviews and start prepping for the draft, Raptors coach Nick Nurse said Monday.
“I think we’re eager for [the offseason] because we didn’t get much of one last year,” Nurse said. “We’ve always thought it’s been a huge part of our development and our success. It looks like hopefully we’re gonna be able to operate the way we want to.”
Once all the immediate post-season interviews and such are dealt with, the Raptors will turn their attention to the June 22 NBA Lottery and eventually the July 29th Draft.
Report: The Knicks are among the teams eyeing Kyle Lowry this summer