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The Toronto Raptors are a rare example of a franchise with options.

A lot of teams have sold off their draft picks. More and more stars are moving to the NBA draft and futures built around it.

Toronto is between the two.

All of the Raptors' first-round picks are in their control. They are an elite organization at every level of management, from ownership to front office to coach.

They have an All-NBA forward, an All-Star guard, and the reigning rookies of the year.

Toronto has lost 14 of its last 20 games and is currently sitting six games under.500.

"They are a talented team, but it just hasn't worked for them," an Eastern Conference scout was quoted as saying.

The nature of the NBA leads to rebuilds after a few years at the top. The age curves and draft are designed to produce that result.

Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Raptors have won an Eastern Conference-best 466 games and have reached the playoffs eight times.

They are starting to show signs of wear.

The Raptors have not had cap space since the summer of 2015. The Raptors received nothing in return for Leonard, Gasol and Ibaka leaving in the middle of the championship run.

After landing Norman Powell after the 23rd pick in the draft between 2015 and 2017, Toronto was able to recreate that draft magic, but since then it hasn't been able to do it again.

Toronto has been put in a position where the rest of the NBA is waiting to see which direction the franchise will take with its poor roster.

What's happening north of the border has become a big trade season storyline.

An East executive said that their guys are better than anyone else's. If they are out there, they will have a lot of interest.

Toronto is expected to finish in the top six in the East. The formula for keeping up with the competition in the top half of the conference was simple.

The heart of the Raptors' issues are the regressions of Barnes and VanVleet, a lack of depth and shooting, and defensive problems.

Reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes has yet to build off the success of his debut season. Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

In his sophomore season, Barnes has failed to live up to the standard that he set in his first year, when he was the league's top rookies and showed off his versatile skill set.

Barnes said that he's still developing, when asked to evaluate his second season. I'm trying to find different ways to impact the game.

He has been told at times to be more assertive on the court. Barnes didn't make a single shot through the first three quarters of both games.

Barnes is shooting a lower percentage from the field and is scoring less points. When he is the closest defender this season, opposing players are shooting 49.9%, compared to 46.5% last season.

It's Wednesday.

Bucks-Hawks, 7:30 p.m.
Suns-Nuggets, 10 p.m.

On Friday.

Warriors-Spurs, 7:30 p.m.
Nuggets-Clippers, 10 p.m.

It's all times Eastern.

He's going to have a long career and this is good for him to struggle a little bit. We need him to play well in order for us to have success, which is how a team is built, and we would wish that there wasn't so much weight on every performance for him. It's bad for him, but it's good for him. It is good for him to go through these struggles because it will make him better.

He can get it out of the way now that nobody said bad things about him. He will bounce back and push through that if people talk about him.

VanVleet is going through a lot of struggles. VanVleet has assumed his mentor's role as the heart and soul of the Raptors since Kyle Lowry left for Miami. He's the leader of the team, playing through injuries and trying to help win games.

The team's shooting slump has been led by VanVleet. The Raptors are 29th in the NBA in 3-point percentage since they lost in New Orleans. VanVleet's career average was 37.5% and he was shooting 37.8% up to that point.

He is shooting 29.2% from beyond the line on nearly nine attempts per game.

There will be nights where you make some and nights where you don't. This season has not been a good one for us.

Over the last month, that has been the case. The 11th best looks from 3-point range have been generated by Toronto. The Raptors are dead last in quantified shot-making, which is the difference between a team's effective field goal percentage and its qsP, over that same period.

For a team that struggles in a variety of metrics in half-court offense, combining that with open looks is a recipe for disaster.

The Raptors are 18th in the league in defense rating due to their porous transition defense.

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Toronto ranked second in transition defense through the month of November. What have you done since then? The Raptors are 25th due to their preference to build out a team full of long-limbed, interchangeable wings.

"I think the shots not going in are affecting our transition defense, and it's affecting our energy and fight a bit," Nurse said.

A franchise that has grown accustomed to winning has been left wondering what the future holds.

The NBA trade landscape has changed because of the tournament.

With 10 teams from each conference now guaranteed, at minimum, the chance to win two games and make the playoffs, it's both given more teams the chance to wait and see if they make the playoffs.

There's less need for teams like the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, and Washington Wizards to make moves than there is for teams like the Toronto Raptors.

The team is less inclined to throw in the towel because of it.

The Raptors have insisted that they will take until the end of the month to make a decision on where they are going.

There are a few factors that will play into their decision.

Fred VanVleet high-fives teammates OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam at Madison Square Garden. All three stars could become major NBA trade deadline targets. Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Victor Wembanyama is on the top of the boards. The Toronto Raptors are in a tie for sixth in the draft lottery and are just two games behind the Magic. It puts Toronto in a good position to chase lottery luck this spring.

There is pending unrestricted free agency for both VanVleet and Trent. Sources told Marks that Toronto offered VanVleet four years and $114 million to extend his contract.

VanVleet told reporters after Toronto's win Sunday that he could sign the extension anytime between now and June 30 if he turns down his player option for next season.

VanVleet thinks he's worth more than Toronto currently gives him.

I wouldn't go too far into it. VanVleet said he was trying to put himself in a good position and not extend his contract.

I think I have outplayed that contract so far. I'm trying to put the cards in their hand. They have to make a decision.

I really enjoy being here. Being a Raptors is something I enjoy. I'm confident that we could find a deal because I have a good relationship with Bobby and Masai. I'm not going to make it easy on them and they're not going to make it on me either, so that's the way it's going.

Victor Wembanyama is the projected top pick in the next decade. We will have complete coverage of the June 22nd draft on the internet.

• Teams contending for Wembanyama
• Givony's mock draft: Victor still on top
• Stock watch: Wemby's development
• Can Wemby end Team USA's dynasty?

Trent will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. When Powell was about to become a free agent, Toronto flipped him to Portland for Trent, who was going to be a restricted free agent.

The Raptors can either get draft picks or controllable players in the future. Or, alternatively, could keep them and use their Bird Rights this summer.

Every team is watching to see if either Anunoby, a dream addition for any team as one of the NBA's best wing defenders who is a career 37% 3-point shooter, or Siakam, who has evolved into a complete star forward and could be in line for a spot on

A Western Conference scout asked what Toronto would like to do. Do they want to keep their assets safe? Are they going to rearrange what they have?

The NBA is also waiting to find out.