Toronto Raptors Trade Deadline Primer and Rumour Roundup

May 23, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri (right) gestures as he speaks with media during pre-game shoot around before the Raptors host Cleveland Cavaliers in game four of the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri (right) gestures as he speaks with media during pre-game shoot around before the Raptors host Cleveland Cavaliers in game four of the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

With the NBA Trade Deadline finally here, we go through everything you need to know about the Toronto Raptors, including the team’s recent trade rumours.

Even though the Toronto Raptors have addressed their biggest need by acquiring Serge Ibaka last Wednesday, Masai Ujiri and Jeff Weltman aren’t done trying to improve this team.

Yes, Ibaka will more than likely be their biggest addition, which means it’s unlikely we’ll see the Raptors make a splash on Thursday, but that doesn’t mean this team is done making moves. Based on the Ibaka deal, Ujiri looks to have pushed this team all-in and is serious about trying to make a run this year, perhaps signalling that another deal is in the works?

To help sort through some of the speculation surrounding the Raptors, here’s a look at everything you need to know about the Dinos leading up to the NBA Trade Deadline, including the team’s recent trade rumours.

What the Raptors are After

After filling their power forward position by acquiring Ibaka, the Raptors are in the market for a versatile wing player/forward who can help defensively, and perhaps another shooter. Considering Toronto’s roster construction, that’s about all they can add while in-season. If any big changes were to take place, I’d expect them to happen during the offseason.

Who Could be an Option

This is the million dollar question every Raptors’ fan and armchair GM is asking themselves: who could the Raptors acquire?

More from Raptors Rumors

Ideally, P.J. Tucker is the near perfect fit. The Suns 31-year-old forward is on an expiring deal, the Raptors would acquire his Bird rights through a trade, he’s a tenacious wing defender who rebounds well, and he’s a hard-nosed veteran that plays with a chip on his shoulder. What’s not to like about the one-time Raptor?

Outside of Tucker, there are players like Shabazz Muhammad, who is a defensive liability and apparently drawing interest from the Washington Wizards, Brandon Rush, who I don’t know if the Timberwolves would part ways with since Zach LaVine is out for the season, and Nick Young, who apparently wouldn’t cost much and is a decent, albeit streaky, shooter.

If you really want to stretch this list out, you could look at names like Tony Snell, Marco Belinelli, who’s $6.6 million cap hit is likely too much, Danilo Gallinari, although he would more than likely just be an expensive rental, and Gerald Henderson, who’s non-guaranteed contract for next season could potentially provide the Raptors with financial flexibility.

Who the Raptors Could Offer in a Trade

The Raptors have reportedly been shopping Jonas Valanciunas, although I think it’s more likely he will be dealt during the offseason, so you can add his name to the list of possible trade candidates.

However, from a more realistic standpoint, the Raptors will likely try to move Jared Sullinger and his expiring contract. He might not have done much in Toronto, but Sullinger is still a useful trade chip for matching salaries.

On top of Sullinger, the Raptors could offer one of their young prospects like Delon Wright, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam or Jakob Poeltl, and/or their first-round pick. While it’s not a lot salary wise, the team does have options available to them.

Any Chance they Could Acquire a Superstar?

I get why fans are excited to see names like Paul George, Jimmy Butler and Paul Millsap on the market, but, like we learned with Millsap, don’t read too much into that.

Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors /

Toronto Raptors

Without question, a guy like PG13 would look great in a Raptors uniform (he’s the perfect fit if you ask me), but you could say the same thing for just about every NBA team. Unfortunately, the Raptors likely don’t have enough assets to acquire a superstar, and, even if they did, Boston could trump any offer since they hold the Brooklyn Nets first-round picks for the next two seasons, both of which will likely be top five picks, if not No. 1 overall.

So let’s pump the brakes on any “Toronto is going to acquire a superstar” talk. Besides, for what it’s worth, the Pacers aren’t necessarily shopping George. They’re merely collecting information about the market, according to’s David Alrdidge.

Rumour Roundup

  • The Raptors were reportedly shopping JV and offered him to the Detroit Pistons for Andre Drummond, which Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst confirmed in this post, and also to the Sacramento Kings for DeMarcus Cousins. It’s tough to say how serious these discussions were, but it does sound like the Raptors are willing to part ways with Valanciunas.
  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe said the Denver Nuggets are “seeking a lottery-protected first round pick and swap rights on another pick” for any deal involving Gallinari or Wilson Chandler. The Raptors were said to be monitoring Gallinari’s availability, but unless the team is willing to trade a player like DeMarre Carroll, or a package that includes Jared Sullinger and Cory Joseph, a deal seems unlikely since matching Gallo’s $15 million salary would be difficult.
  • New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee is available, according to Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler. Although Kyler says the Knicks aren’t looking for much in return and are merely trying to clear cap space, the Raptors are unable to take on contracts since Ibaka, Patrick Patterson and Kyle Lowry are all free agents this summer.
  • The Suns are still hopeful they will be able to fetch a first round pick for Tucker.

  • Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue has reportedly met with free agent center Larry Sanders and the team is trying to figure out if he has any basketball left in him. The Raptors don’t have any space in their frontcourt to pursue a player like Sanders, but since the Cavs are the crème de la crème of the Eastern Conference, this news is worth monitoring.
  • Another team to keep an eye on if you’re a Raptors’ fan is the Boston Celtics. Boston has been rumoured to every big name superstar, including Blake Griffin, Butler, and PG13, but they continue to sit tight. Will the Celtics actually sit out another trade deadline and attempt to methodically build their franchise?
  • As of putting this post to bed at 3:18 am, all is quiet on the Raptors’ front. There aren’t any new rumours floating around the Internet or Twitter, so I’ll see you in the morning and we’ll all enjoy the NBA Trade Deadline together!
  • Next: Raptors have Reportedly Offered Valanciunas in Trade Offers

    What do you think the Toronto Raptors should do at the NBA Trade Deadline? Who would you like to see them pursue? Is Ibaka enough? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.