In what was one of the strangest years you’ll ever see, the 2019-20 NBA season is finally all over, and it’s never too early to take a look at the next season.
The NBA regular season began on Oct. 22, 2019 with a doubleheader starting with the New Orleans Pelicans heading on the road to play the Toronto Raptors, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Los Angeles Clippers. The league took a long hiatus with zero games played from March 12 through July 29 thanks to a global-wide pandemic.
In the end nearly a full year after the league started, the Lakers were crowned as the NBA Finals champions on Oct. 11, 2020 by beating the Miami Heat in Game 6 as Los Angeles won the series 4-2 from the Orlando bubble, which was where every NBA game was played since July 30. The fact zero games were canceled or postponed was a massive success for the league in addition to zero players testing positive for the coronavirus.
With the season finally over, it’s time to turn the page and look toward the future. Shortly after the NBA Finals ended, sportsbooks released futures odds for who will win all in 2021.
As we just finished what might be the most unusual NBA season, the most unusual offseason has begun. The NBA Draft is scheduled to be held on Nov. 18, and that’s about all anybody knows right now. There still is no set plan on when the first game of the season will happen, and the league has not announced how long the next season will be or when it is expected to conclude. We do not even know when free agency is set to begin.
As for the Raptors
A lot will happen before the season starts whenever that may be. That isn’t stopping NBA fans from looking to what’s next. For the Raptors, they are coming off a 53-19 regular season in which they finished second in the Eastern Conference during the regular season. That record also ranked second among the entire league behind only the Milwaukee Bucks.
Putting all the games together including the postseason, Toronto finished with a 60-23 record as it exited the NBA Playoffs in the conference semifinal round in seven games against the Boston Celtics. While the postseason likely didn’t go as well as the Raptors and their fans had hoped, the bettors who rode them all season long did fairly well. Toronto covered fairly often against the spread with a record of 46-36-1.
It will be an interesting offseason for Toronto, but it will likely remain a playoff team next season. The Raptors will be selecting at the No. 29 and No. 59 slots, so they likely won’t see much immediate help from the NBA Draft. But what will happen in free agency?
It’s very possible the Raptors’ roster could look extremely different from what it looked like when their season ended. Five of Toronto’s 11 most-used players are going to hit the free agent market whenever it opens up. These players include Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris Boucher. Of these five, only Boucher is a restricted free agent.
It’s incredibly difficult to try and figure out how to stack Toronto up with the rest of the NBA, but futures odds are always fun to take a look at during the offseason. Here’s a look at where the Raptors stand less than a week after the 2019-20 NBA season concluded.
All odds are via a popular United States sportsbook.
Eastern Conference Winner
Oddsmakers set the Raptors with the fifth-best odds to advance to the NBA Finals out of the Eastern Conference behind the Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. Toronto comes in with +650 odds with a bit of a wide margin behind it with the Philadelphia 76ers at +1000.
- Milwaukee Bucks +200
- Brooklyn Nets +300
- Miami Heat +350
- Boston Celtics +400
- Toronto Raptors +650
- Philadelphia 76ers +1000
- Indiana Pacers +4000
- Atlanta Hawks/Chicago Bulls +5000
- Orlando Magic/Washington Wizards +7000
- Charlotte Hornets/Cleveland Cavaliers/Detroit Pistons/New York Knicks +30000
NBA Finals Odds
The Raptors have the eighth best odds to win the NBA title in 2021 behind the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. Toronto is sandwiched in the middle of the Celtics and Denver Nuggets at +1600.
- Los Angeles Lakers +350
- Los Angeles Clippers +400
- Milwaukee Bucks +500
- Brooklyn Nets/Golden State Warriors +600
- Miami Heat +900
- Boston Celtics +1200
- Toronto Raptors +1600
- Denver Nuggets +2000
- Dallas Mavericks +2200
- Houston Rockets/Philadelphia 76ers +3000
- Utah Jazz +4000
- New Orleans Pelicans/Portland Trail Blazers +5000
- Oklahoma City Thunder/Phoenix Suns +8000
- Indiana Pacers +10000
- Atlanta Hawks/Chicago Bulls/Memphis Grizzlies +15000
- Minnesota Timberwolves/Orlando Magic/Washington Wizards +20000
- Sacramento Kings/San Antonio Spurs +25000
- Charlotte Hornets/Cleveland Cavaliers/Detroit Pistons/New York Knicks +50000