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It was just a few months ago that the Toronto Raptors were facing off against the Philadelphia 76ers as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, just three games back of the Boston Celtics in the second seed.

Now, on the heels of the Cleveland Cavaliers' blockbuster deal for Donovan Mitchell, Vegas oddsmakers are expecting the Raptors to take a step back next season and finish seventh or eighth in the conference. Toronto sits at +2,000 to win the East next season, conveying a 5% chance, the tied with the Atlanta Hawks for the seventh best odds in the conference, per DraftKings.

The acquisition of Mitchell saw Cleveland jump ahead of Toronto from the tenth-best odds to win the East all the way to the sixth-best odds and about an 8% chance, according to DraftKings. The Raptors' projected win total also fell behind the Cavaliers' to 44.5 wins. Cleveland, meanwhile, has jumped to 48.5 wins, per PointsBet.

Even without major moves this summer, Toronto should take a step forward on the court next season. Another year of development from Scottie Barnes and Precious Achiuwa, coupled with better health from OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, and Pascal Siakam should pay dividends for this young group. However, the East looks as good as it's been in a long time and the Raptors may end up falling in the standings despite improving on the court.

Further Reading

Raptors finalize training camp roster With Josh Jackson signing

Raptors sign Christian Koloko, hard capping the team for 2022-23 season

Raptors roster battles haven't helped their cases at FIBA qualifiers