Losing their fourth game in their last five, the Toronto Raptors fell to the Milwaukee Bucks 104-101 in overtime on Wednesday night, managing to pull back by 21 points with 3:50 to play in the fourth quarter to force overtime. .
It was a valiant comeback effort that fell short, but a loss is still a loss and much of the talk online about a possible end to this era, when the Raptors looked like they were falling asleep to a disappointing loss, still lingers. right
The Feb. 9 trade deadline is getting closer and closer and with the Raptors looking like they’ll be fighting for a playoff spot at best with a talent-laden roster, there’s a very real possibility the team is considering shaking things up. download and try to get assets for some – maybe even all – of those bases.
It’s a painful thought, but a reality that must be considered.
So, here’s a look at what the market looks like for five of Toronto’s biggest commercial pieces, along with a few thoughts on other potential candidates.
The Raptors’ best player is also possibly their best trade chip.
The 28-year-old is once again performing as an All-NBA player and with the remainder of this season and next season remaining on his contract, regardless of player or team options at the end of it, Siakam could be elevated—by ending a long-term lease from for a rival looking to pull a window for this season and next.
If the Raptors look to trade him around the deadline, he shouldn’t come cheap.
A comparable amount that Toronto should look to get in exchange for a player of Siakam’s caliber is the deals Utah got from Minnesota and Cleveland when they gave away Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.
That is, the Raptors will need a boatload of first-round picks, a trade of first-round picks and a promising young player or two to make this deal happen.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of teams out there with the kind of assets that can facilitate this kind of transaction, and those that probably can – such as the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Memphis Grizzlies – are not yet at a point in their team. -building progress to add another star and giving up a title or opportunity cost to give up key young players in the rotation may not be worth it to them.
Still, this is the NBA and you can never say never. If a Gobert or Mitchell-like deal for Siakam comes around the deadline, it would require Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster to at least consider it.
Anunoby should be considered for at least one All-Defensive Team selection and has a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year nomination, despite the team’s lack of success this season.
That alone makes him an attractive trade target for many teams, but when you factor in the fact that he’s an above-average three-point shooter and on a very Christmas-friendly contract under $20-million per year. is a team that will be around until at least the end of next season (they have a player option for the 2024-25 campaign) then you have a key target that almost every team in the league that thinks of themselves as a contender will turn around.
If the Raptors decide to trade at the deadline, the potential leverage they could get for Anunoby cannot be overstated.
In the Eastern Conference, what would a team like the Brooklyn Nets or the Milwaukee Bucks pay for a player who can catch Jayson Tatum? Or, if you’re the Boston Celtics, wouldn’t you want a guy who could slow Tatum down next to you and take on the likes of Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo? And outside of the West, Anunoby would be one of the guys in the conference who could replace the likes of Luka Doncic or Kawhi Leonard one-on-one.
For the playoffs, Anunoby’s defensive abilities will be worth their weight in gold. That he is on a cheap contract, has offensive skills and is still only 25 years old.
If they do decide to trade him, the Raptors should look to extract as much value as possible, which means aiming for the sky-high Gobert or Mitchell deal like they need to ask for Siakam and then move on. do it get off there. At the very least, Toronto should expect a combination of multiple first-round picks and trade picks along with a promising young player for Anunoby.
VanVleet has a $22.8-million player option for next season, and as things stand, it’s still unclear whether he’ll opt out this summer or look to become a free agent.
This complicates his trade value a bit, but given that he was an All-Star last season, is still a prolific defender and is a career 37.6 percent three-pointer, there is a market for him. does – especially for teams that may want to use him off the bench – it shouldn’t be too difficult.
It’s been a rare year for VanVleet to shoot the ball this season, but that’s probably because he’s logged so many minutes for the Raptors and is largely responsible for the fact that neither Malachi Flynn nor Dalano Banton have been able to get consistent point guard minutes. hit season to help him.
In another situation, however, VanVleet could thrive, especially if he can get off the ball and use his shooting stroke to its full potential.
The Raptors aren’t likely to get the same kind of deal for VanVleet that they might get for Siakam and Anunoby because it’s unclear if VanVleet will just be a rental for the rest of this season, but looks at competitors around the league. almost all of them would greatly benefit from a consistent, veteran point guard who can protect and shoot the ball well. Even better, VanVleet is such a project that if he’s asked to come off the bench, it’s unlikely he’ll be too upset about the perceived downside.
Armed with a player option for next season that he will likely opt out of due to the strides he’s made as a member of the Raptors and will be up for promotion, Trent is among the most likely Raptors players to be traded — regardless whether the team is looking to become a vendor or not.
The 24-year-old Trent is a microwave scorer with occasional flashes of defensive brilliance, the exact type that a team like the Nets, Philadelphia 76ers or any other top-heavy team would be in the market for.
The prize in a Trent deal would be a first-round pick or two, along with a young, rotation-ready player.
Given that Barnes is only 21-years-old and in just his second season after winning Rookie of the Year last season, the odds of him winning aren’t very high, but there’s no denying that he would be a valuable trade piece. including any trade the Raptors can look to make.
He’s going through a sophomore slump this season, as he hasn’t hit the kind of strides that both teams and scouts were hoping for, but his potential to be a player on both ends of the floor remains.
If the Raptors were to trade Barnes, it would likely be framed as a buyer’s move. But if they are looking to trade him and they do sell, one would expect it to be with a team like the Thunder and an endless amount of draft picks at their disposal. Making a pair or, you know, half a dozen of those from Sam Presti’s nest would be really something.
Other potentially interesting candidates
Here’s a quick breakdown of four potential Raptors trade candidates.
Dear Achiuwa: For all the praise Achiuwa has for his talent and potential, he may be difficult to trade as he is still on his rookie contract and, therefore, not worth the salary when it comes to collecting (Barnes there is such a problem). If it is commercialized, it will definitely be used to make the math work in the transaction.
Kim Birch: Birch is making just under $7-million this season and is owed the same next year. From a skill point of view, he is a very good rebounder and has a three-point stroke. The money owed on his contract makes him more of a core trade piece of the salary cap than his real estate value.
Chris Boucher: Boucher can’t actually be traded until December 15th, but given that he’s making just over $12.5 million this season, it looks like he could be a key piece to any deal the Raptors could look at as far as matching the deal. make a salary goes However, the skills he acquired while with the Raptors could help the team. He is a good shot blocker, spear runner and can hit the occasional three. His shot selection still needs work, but as an energy guy coming off the bench you could do a lot worse.
Otto Porter Jr.: Porter was barely around the team after he was signed for two years in the summer. He’s owed $6-million this season and has a player option worth $6.3-million next season, but if a contender is willing to take that risk, then he could end up as a three-and-D reserve player. a great addition. There will be a lot of risk in trying to get him, however, as he has played just eight games this season and is currently out indefinitely with a finger injury.
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