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Mike D’Antoni thinks Raptors remain title contenders despite Kawhi Leonard’s departure

Mike D'Antoni, Rockets, Raptors

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni thinks the Toronto Raptors will remain title contenders despite the departure of star small forward Kawhi Leonard.

D’Antoni says the obvious, pointing out that it will be harder for the Raptors to win this season now that Leonard is gone. However, the Rockets coach thinks Toronto has the right group of players to compete in a wide-open Eastern Conference.

“I wasn’t surprise that they (won the title), they were a really good team. Anytime you have the team that they had and then they added Marc Gasol halfway through the year, you know they’d be really good,” D’Antoni said, via Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.

“They’re one of the teams again, that even without Kawhi Leonard will be contending for a title. They have a lot of players that can play. Now, will it be harder? Maybe. Kawhi is obviously Kawhi, but they’ll still be one of the top teams (in the NBA).”

The Raptors’ roster is headlined by Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Norman Powell and newcomers Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Toronto is eager to show everyone they weren’t just all about Kawhi Leonard last season. It will be interesting to watch them play this season, that’s for sure.