2019-20 Eastern Conference Standings Predictions: Where do the Charlotte Hornets sit?

Charlotte Hornets Nicolas Batum (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Nicolas Batum (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors Pascal Siakam (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

No. 7 – Toronto Raptors

The reigning NBA Champions are setting up for life without Kawhi Leonard. He was only with Toronto for one season, but his impact was incredible, leading the team to their first NBA Title while arguably playing like the best player on the planet. Luckily for Toronto, they are set up for success without him.

Pascal Siakam, the reigning Most Improved Player of the Year, is the teams best player and I expect him to have an All-Star campaign. He’s one of the best young players in the league and could be fully unleashed with Kawhi in Los Angeles. They still also have veterans like Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol.

Replacing Kawhi is obviously a tough task, but I do like some of the moves Toronto made after learning of his desire to return home and play for the Clippers. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was a low-risk signing that can make an impact. We’ll see if Stanley Johnson can turn his career around with an increased opportunity.

I think Toronto will firmly be in the playoff mix all season long. They’ll need some wing players to step up, but they have the overall talent to compete in the Eastern Conference. The odds of them repeating as champions are slim, but making the playoffs is a pride thing for most teams.