Toronto Raptors Trade Deadline Targets


Toronto Raptors Trade Deadline Targets

The Toronto Raptors look like they are in a great position.

The team sits second in the Eastern Conference with a two-and-a-half game lead on the Chicago Bulls and are comfortably locked atop the Atlantic Division with a sizeable 14.5 game lead on the Brooklyn Nets.

After a rocky start to the month with back-to-back losses, the Raptors have won eight of their last 10 games and have secured victories over elite opponents like the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and Washington Wizards.

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  • On the surface, the Dinos look to be in a great position.

    But with a shaky interior defence, inconsistent wing production and a growing trend of relying on Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, the team still has a few holes to address.

    With the NBA Trade Deadline less than a week away, general manager Masai Ujiri will more than likely be looking to fill those holes. Toronto certainly has the right assets to make a trade happen. They have an ample amount of cap space, roster flexibility, expiring contracts and an assortment of picks that includes the New York Knicks first round pick in 2016.

    If Ujiri wants to make a deep playoff run this year, the roster will likely need to improve. Here is a look at a couple of players the Raptors could add at the deadline.

    Kenneth Faried, Power Forward, Denver Nuggets

    Having drafted Faried in 2011, Ujiri knows the former Morehead State product very well, making him an easy candidate to link to the Raptors.

    Although Faried is about to begin a four-year, $50 million extension next year, he is an athletic freak that would immediately help the Raptors on the glass and defensive side of the ball. His energy is contagious, as “the Manimal” electrifies crowds with his ability to run the floor, crash the glass and cram home powerful dunks.

    With Denver likely to enter “fire-sale mode”, Faried will definitely be dangled as trade bait at the deadline. With numerous rumours already linking Faried to the Toronto, he is a name Raptors’ fans should keep an eye on.

    David West, Power Forward, Indiana Pacers

    Feb 8, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Indiana Pacers forward David West (21) reacts to a foul call during the second half of the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. Pacers win 103-102. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

    With Indiana only two games out of a playoff spot and Paul George aiming for a mid-March comeback, the Pacers have a big decision to make. Rebuild for next year, or go for the playoffs this year?

    Logic would say rebuild for next year with a healthy Paul George, but with the East being so awful, the Pacers might feel otherwise.

    However, if they are looking to trade, West is an ideal candidate. The veteran forward has one more year left on his contract and would be a great rental player for the Raptors.

    His post presence and 18-foot jump shot would add a new dimension to the Raptors offence that could play well with Lowry or DeRozan in pick-and-pop situations.

    Wilson Chandler, Small Forward, Denver Nuggets

    If upgrading the wing position is an area the Raptors want to address, Nuggets swingman Wilson Chandler would be a more consistent option over incumbent Terrence Ross.

    Although both Ross and James Johnson are long defenders, Chandler is an upgrade offensively, while not too much of a downgrade defensively. With only one year left on his contract, Chandler could be an option if the Raptors feel a more polished wing player is necessary.

    However, with Chandler not being a substantial upgrade over either player, the asking price has to be right here.

    Miles Plumlee, Centre, Phoenix Suns

    Dec 31, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Phoenix Suns center Miles Plumlee (22) warms up prior to action against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

    With Chuck Hayes and Greg Stiemsma backing up centre Jonas Valanciunas, the Raps could use a backup centre to help relieve some pressure from JV.

    One player who could fill that void is Phoenix Suns backup centre Miles Plumlee.

    Back in January,‘s Marc Stein reported that the Suns were actively shopping the former Duke Blue Devil. Although his numbers are down a bit from last season, Plumlee would be a great compliment to Valanciunas. His size and developing skill set would provide adequate relief for JV down the stretch.

    Greg Monroe, Power Forward, Detroit Pistons

    Taj Gibson, Power Forward, Chicago Bulls

    Although both Monroe and Gibson are long shot’s to be traded at the deadline — especially with Jimmy Butler‘s recent injury and Stan Van Gundy’s recent comments — the Raptors should still kick the tires on both players and see what the asking price is.

    In the midst of a breakout season, I would imagine the asking price Monroe is extremely high. At 24 years old, “Moose” is a bona fide double-double option that has all the potential in the world. The main concern, though, would be whether Monroe would be willing to sign in Toronto after this season as he is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.

    Meanwhile, Gibson has been linked to numerous trade rumours for well over a year now, so seeing his name float around in trade rumours mill is nothing new. With the Bulls roster riddled with injuries this season, I would be surprised to see them part ways with Gibson at the deadline.

    What do you think the Raptors should do at the trade deadline? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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