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The Toronto Raptors weren’t supposed to be this good. Slaughtered by injuries across the championship core, there was every chance the team could have sank and been forced into the role of sellers at the trade deadline.
After all, Marc Gasol is turning 35 and on an expiring contract, soon-to-be 34-year-old Kyle Lowry was deemed to be more tradeable by analysts after signing a one-year extension, and Serge Ibaka, 30, is on the final year of his deal. If the team was out of the picture for home-court advantage, the perspective of win-now would have shifted to win-later and securing some kind of return for two very capable players would have been first on the agenda.
But the Raptors kept swimming against the undercurrent, and now are powering through with momentum on their side. At 32-14, they're tied for the fifth-best record in the league and are in position to secure the second seed in the East.
They don’t necessarily need to make a move, but here are five players they could be in play for: