The Toronto Raptors are in good shape as they enter the regular season’s stretch run following a lengthy all-star break. The team holds a two-game cushion on first place in the East, is on pace to set a new franchise record for wins in a regular season, have a realistic shot at reaching the esteemed 60-win mark, and are currently projected to have a higher chance to reach the NBA Finals than any other team. They’re getting reliable production from their all-star backcourt of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry and steady contributions from veteran supporting cast members like Serge Ibaka, C.J. Miles and Jonas Valanciunas. The second unit featuring Fred VanVleet, Delon Wright, Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl has been a revelation and has drastically altered the team’s short- and long-term outlook for the better. And head coach Dwane Casey has delivered on what he promised in the off-season and is a leading candidate for coach of the year honours. In short: There’s a lot to like about the Raptors these days. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement, and the NBA’s buyout market is where contending teams look to shore up their roster down the stretch and look for a veteran potential difference-maker. The New York Times‘ Marc Stein was asked about this year’s buyout market in a recent mailbag as part of his online newsletter, and mentioned the Raptors among the top-tier teams looking to improve via free agency.