Examining Possible Trade Scenarios for the Toronto Raptors


Examining Possible Trade Scenarios for the Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors are not expected to make any significant moves during the NBA trade deadline, as general manager Masai Ujiri has been adamant that he would not do any trade that would affect the Raptors future.

Given Ujiri’s comments, let’s explore a few trade scenarios where the Raptors would involve assets they would actually move like Landry Fields, expiring contracts and future draft picks.

Toronto Trades Landry Fields, Greg Stiemsma and a Future Second-Round Pick to Phoenix for Miles Plumlee

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  • Miles Plumlee was reportedly on the Phoenix Suns

    trade block back in mid-January

    , but the health of

    Alex Len

    has kept Plumlee in the desert. Although he is a backup in Phoenix, Plumlee is a former first-round pick that could easily develop into a solid rotational player. His athleticism and ability to crash the glass makes him an asset in the paint.

    As his development continues, Plumlee could turn into a nice backup for Jonas Valanciunas that can chip in valuable minutes to the Raptors’ second unit. Contract wise, Plumlee is owed $2.1 million next season before he becomes a free agent for the 2016-17 season. At the cost of two expiring contracts and a future second-round pick, the potential of possibly acquiring a long-term backup for centre Jonas Valanciunas is worth the risk.

    For Phoenix, the ability to acquire a future draft pick, plus two expiring contracts, will give them some flexibility when it comes to possibly trading recently disgruntled guard Goran Dragic. A future second-round pick would help sweeten the deal for Phoenix, although they were reportedly asking for a first-round pick in exchange for Plumlee. But given the recent news of Dragic not wanting to return to Phoenix, the team might do what it can to acquire assets to package in some sort of future deal involving Dragic.

    Toronto Trades Landry Fields, Greg Stiemsma and a Future Second-Round Pick to Indiana for Luis Scola and Donald Sloan

    Feb 8, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Indiana Pacers forward center Luis Scola (4) reacts after his team wins the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. Pacers win 103-102. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

    Despite the fact he will be 35 years old at the end of the season, Luis Scola is a productive power forward that would fit in well with the Raptors. Scola is a gritty player that hustles, crashes the glass, plays aggressive defence and can knock down an open jump shot. In a backup role with Toronto, Scola would provide the Raptors with a serviceable option that could rotate with Patrick Patterson.

    His basketball IQ would fit in well with the Raptors offence, as his ability to shoot a 19-footer would help create spacing for dynamic backup players like guard Lou Williams. Although he is undersized at 6-foot-9, Scola would be an efficient player who would provide Toronto with many underrated aspects on both ends of the floor.

    For the Pacers, the trade essentially gives them a future second-round pick in exchange for swapping expiring contracts. Although Fields and Stiemsma do not provide much value to Indiana, the second round pick would be a nice asset for a team that should be competitive in the coming years with a healthy Paul George. The trade would also allow the Pacers to give Lavoy Allen and Ian Mahinmi more minutes.

    The real question for Toronto in this deal is, do they feel comfortable taking on a 34-year-old player who has maybe two-to-three more years left in the league?

    The All-in Trade:

    Toronto Trades Landry Fields, Greg Stiemsma, Tyler Hansbrough, a Future Second-Round Pick and 2016 (New York Knicks) First-Round Pick to Denver for Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee

    This deal is where the Dinos push all their chips forward and go all-in for the next three years with a core of Lowry, DeRozan, Faried and Valanciunas. The addition of Faried would give the Raptors a solid two-way player who can crash the glass, play defence and play with his back to the basket in the low-post.

    McGee would mostly be a salary dump on the Raptors here, but as a backup to JV, he could provide valuable minutes off the bench come playoff time. Also, he is only guaranteed $2.325 million next year on his expiring $12 million contract, so the Raps could part ways with him in the off-season if they absolutely had too.

    On the contrary, this deal would make re-signing Lou Williams and Amir Johnson a bit trickier come this off-season. Faried and McGee would account for over $20 million next year if we kept both players, so unless Amir takes a “hometown discount”, and Lou Williams takes a mid-level deal and then gets paid the following year when McGee’s contract expires, the Raptors would find themselves in a bind financially.

    However, if Ujiri feels this team is ready to compete now, this might be a bold move he considers making.

    For Denver, they give up Faried, but they also rid themselves of JaVale McGee’s contract. The salary dump here allows them to shed McGee’s $12 million contract ($2.325 million guaranteed) next season, as well as Faried’s $52 million deal. They would probably like to keep Faried and use him as a building block in the future, but the idea of potentially having two top-five picks in next year’s draft is enticing for a team that is set to blow it up. Cap relief, expiring contracts, the Knicks first-round pick next year, it would be a decent haul for the rebuilding Nuggets. Meanwhile, the Raptors do not lose much in the deal, as they essentially give up three expiring contracts and two picks.

    The three players I included for the Raptors may be too little for the Nuggets, but the centre piece of this deal is the Knicks first-round pick next year — a pick the Nuggets actually own the rights too if it’s lower than their own pick. However, with the salary cap expected to increase substantially in the next couple years, I doubt the Raptors would make a big splash like this, but you never know with Masai.

    Since Toronto is unwilling to trade any true assets like Terrence Ross, it’s hard to see the Raptors making a move for players like Enes Kanter, Jordan Hill or even Kenneth Faried. Given the lack of attractive names on the trade market, it seems very unlikely that the Raptors will even make a move at the trade deadline, although they could really use a player who can stretch the floor and play defence from the wing-power forward position.

    What do you think Raptors’ fans? Is there a trade you feel the Raptors could complete? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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