Report: Toronto Raptors have discussed Cory Joseph trade with Pacers

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 20: Cory Joseph /

With the Toronto Raptors up against the salary cap, the team will more than likely look to shed salary this offseason via trade. One name coming up in rumours is point guard Cory Joseph.

Although the Toronto Raptors lost fan favourite P.J. Tucker to the Houston Rockets, the team still faces a salary cap dilemma this offseason and not only needs to re-sign Kyle Lowry, but also needs to find a way to get under the cap.

The easiest way for Masai Ujiri and co. to avoid paying the luxury tax is to make a trade. Of course, executing a trade is easier said than done. Toronto has obvious pieces they would like to move, like Jonas Valanciunas and DeMarre Carroll, but interest around the league is said to be low.

Instead, it sounds like the team might be forced to part ways with a player like Cory Joseph, who, according to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders, has been involved in trade discussions with the Indiana Pacers.

There are multiple reasons why the Raptors would be inclined to move Joseph, but the most obvious one is salary. Joseph’s $7.7 million salary for next season is attractive and teams could easily absorb it. However, while it does help Toronto shed salary, he is also their best trade chip and could be better served to use in a larger deal.

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Outside of salary cap implications, Joseph is expendable for the Raptors because of who they have waiting in the wings at point guard. If Kyle Lowry re-signs, the Raptors will once again have a log-jam in their backcourt that features Lowry, Joseph, Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet. Assuming the Raptors are comfortable playing Wright and VanVleet more, moving CoJo makes sense.

There are other reasons the Raptors could trade Joseph, but, again, the most likely one is cost-cutting. With Tucker no longer on the team, and Patrick Patterson still a free agent, trading Carroll might be tougher because the team has a clear need at small forward. I understand the distaste fans have for Carroll, but, after Norman Powell, he’s the only realistic option on the roster. OG Anunoby figures to pencil in at small forward once he’s healthy, but that’s still a ways away.

In the meantime, it sounds like trading Joseph or JV are the most realistic options for the Raptors. Big picture wise, a trade would more than likely happen for cost-cutting reasons, but other motives could develop depending on what teams are involved. At this point, though ,it’s all speculation, so don’t stress too much, Raptors fans.

Next: 3 free agents the Raptors could target

If they had to, would you be okay with the Toronto Raptors trading Cory Joseph? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.