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Grizzlies Do Raptors Favor With Crucial Victory

The Toronto Raptors have pulled within a half-game of the Memphis Grizzlies for the sixth-worst record in the NBA
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The Toronto Raptors are now within striking distance.

A Memphis Grizzlies’ victory Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards has pulled Toronto to within half a game of the sixth-worst record in the NBA. The Raptors could erase that margin with a victory Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons.

Toronto had been adamant the organization didn’t want to tank this season following the trade deadline. The goal had been to let the young core of Scottie Barnes, Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett, and Gradey Dick to develop together. But Barnes’ likely season-ending hand surgery appears to have changed those plans.

The Raptors have now lost four straight and may be without all five of their traditional starters against the Pistons. Barnes, Jakob Poeltl, and Barrett have all been ruled out while Quickley and Gary Trent Jr. are listed as questionable.

Toronto would have a 45.8% chance at keeping its top-six protected pick if it ends the season with the sixth-worst record in the league. That would be a 37.2% chance of landing a top-four pick and an 8.6% chance of landing the No. 6 pick.

A tie between the teams would result in a coin toss to decide which of the two teams finishes with the better lottery odds.

Should the Raptors remain the seventh-worst team, Toronto would only have a 32% to keep its pick.

Toronto owes its top-six protected pick to San Antonio from the Poeltl deal at last year’s trade deadline. If the pick is not conveyed this year, the Raptors will have to convey it as a top-six protected pick in 2026 or 2027.