This year's Toronto Raptors were a picture of how to recover from trading away one of your best players.
After trading Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat, there were questions about how the Raptors would respond. Well, two years removed from that trade, they finished with a record of 48-34, winning the Atlantic Division and clinching home court advantage in the first round of playoffs. Their return to relevance was pretty surprising, considering most experts didn't give them a shot when the season began.
Now, as they find themselves between seasons again, the Raptors have a few big decisions to make - they must wheel and deal to re-sign awesome point guard Kyle Lowry and still improve their team through trades or a good draft.
According to to the Toronto Star, Terrence Ross may be a big part of that picture.
"I don't know specifically about Kidd-Gilchrist but I will say this: I think Ross is a chip that Masai might want to put in play over the summer and in the time leading up to the draft. Very skilled kid who has shown flashes but on this current Toronto roster, he'd be the one I'd see what I could get for as part of a larger package, perhaps taking back salary from the cap space in a transaction," Doug Smith writes.
Ross averaged 10.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game for the Raptors this season, but was a big let down against the Nets in the postseason.
Smith might be on to something, according to Grantland's Zach Lowe.
"The Raptors could turn into buyers, using Ross as the linchpin to net one of the many proven veterans playing on rebuilding teams. One such veteran, Arron Afflalo, is a former (Masai) Ujiri guy who plays for a team that values Ross highly, per several league sources," he writes.
Toronto General Manager Masai Ujiri, would love to have a vet like Afflalo lined up next to Lowry next year.
They could build on the success the team found last year, and continue to climb up in a conference searching for a true champion.
If they can add a few more key elements on draft day, then they should be able to challenge anyone in the Eastern Conference.