The Toronto Raptors had their best regular-season in franchise history after winning 59 games and clinching the No.1 seed in the 2018 Eastern Conference Playoffs. But just like Kyle Lowry said in the post-game interview, every record and milestone the team made during their record-breaking regular-season run all went for nothing after another sweep [VIDEO] at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Yep, it’s another wasted season for the Raptors, and this summer could present a lot of changes for a franchise that has been trying to breakthrough in the East for the last three years, only to be denied again and again by LeBron James [VIDEO].

The cycle of mediocrity has to stop. For Fox Sports analyst Nick Wright, the best way to do it is to break up the current backcourt of Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.

“I would trade DeMar DeRozan, that’s what I would do,” Wright said during the latest episode of Fox Sports’ “First Things First" with Chris Carter. “I think you could get a very good quality player."

Making the point

Wright pointed out that there’s isn’t a championship team in the history of the NBA that has a point guard and shooting guard as their featured players, except the 2015 Golden State Warriors, bannered by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The analyst believed, like the pairing of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, the Lowry-DeRozan partnership may have already reached its ceiling.

Raptors payroll situation

Toronto went all-in this year by re-signing Lowry (three-year, $100 million) and Serge Ibaka (three-year, $65 million) to lucrative deals.

They also pulled off a sign-and-trade deal to get CJ Miles from Indiana on a three-year, $25 million deal and then locked up Norman Powell to a four-year, $42 million contract. All of these transactions took place a year after committing $139 million over five years to DeRozan.

The Raptors are capped out for the next two years, and unless they make salary-dumping moves, they will be paying a massive amount of luxury tax with their payroll set at $127.5 million in 2018-19 and $132.7 million in 2019-20.

What’s the solution?

The clearest path toward solving the Raptors’ cap problem without taking a significant step back in the East is through trades. Then again, it won’t be an easy undertaking. Lowry is an All-Star playmaker, but the 32-year-old guard doesn’t command much value in the trade market because of his age and a $30+ million per year salary.

Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas are intriguing trade targets for those teams looking to beef up their frontcourt. Still, no teams would be willing to shell out a top-notch talent for two starter-level guys.

Collectively, the Raps bench had been amazing all year long. Individually, none of them are top-shelf, high-upside talents that would demand crazy trade offers.

This leaves DeRozan as the Raptors’ most valuable and feasible trade piece. At 28, DeRozan still has six to seven productive years left in his career, and teams would absolutely line up for the service of one of the better scorers in the league.

Finding a trade partner

As for what Wright stated, the Raptors could get top talents out of trading DeRozan. He could be another All-Star or an up-and-coming player with immense upside. There’s also an option of trading DeRozan for a collection of young talents along with a high lottery pick. The Chicago Bulls did just that almost a year ago when they shipped Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine and Lauri Markkanen, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

The most popular of the trade options that have been floating around these days is the blockbuster of DeRozan for Canadian-born wingman Andrew Wiggins deal. Next season, the 23-year-old Wiggins will be earning $25.5 million in the first year of a five-year, $146.5 million rookie-scale max extension from the Wolves.

His future in Minnesota isn't rock-solid, though, as the Wolves brace for the looming contract extension talks with Karl-Anthony Towns this summer and the unrestricted free agency of Butler the following year. Some NBA pundits even think it’s better to trade Wiggins elsewhere to free up Butler at the three spot. The Wolves would be a terrifying team next season if they somehow find a way to get DeRozan out of Toronto. All of a sudden, the Wolves would have their own version of Golden State’s lineup of death featuring Jeff Teague and DeRozan in the backcourt, and Butler, Taj Gibson/Gorgui Dieng, and Towns in the frontcourt.

As for the Raptors, Wiggins would provide youth, length, and athleticism at the pivotal small forward position. Depending on the development of OG Anunoby, his potential pairing with Wiggins has the upside to become a terrifying perimeter defense in the NBA for more years to come. The most important thing about this trade, if it happens, is Raptors fans will finally have a homegrown star playing for their team.

There's no doubt Wiggins would also benefit immensely in this situation. The best examples of players thriving before a familiar crowd are LeBron with the Cavaliers and Indiana college star Victor Oladipo with the Pacers. Perhaps, Wiggins can find his inner LeBron or Oladipo as Canada's favorite hoops son.

The summer of change

No one could agree more that the Raptors are heading into a summer of change. Dwane Casey could be a goner, despite forging a Coach-of-the-Year worthy resume this season. It’s a sad case, but a 59-win season won’t exonerate three years of repeated beat-downs at the hands of the King. Masai Ujiri has seen enough, the ownership and fandom have endured enough. Whether they admit it or not, it’s about time to push the reset button.