Under different circumstances, the Toronto Raptors could have reportedly ended up with either Nikola Mirotic or Kristaps Porzingis.
According to ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Raptors were close to acquiring Nikola Mirotic. He apparently would have been part of a three-team trade, which included the New Orleans Pelicans and Orlando Magic.
However, Wojnarowski goes on to say the reason the proposed trade fell apart, was because the Raptors didn’t have the expiring contracts the Pelicans were looking for. As a result, this set up the deal which instead sent Mirotic to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Predictably, you wonder what the ramifications of this will be, when the playoffs begin. More specifically, how Mirotic and Gasol will impact who wins the Eastern Conference.
More from Toronto Raptors
- Toronto Raptors: Christian Koloko Highlights 2022 Summer League roster
- Toronto Raptors re-sign Chris Boucher, add Otto Porter Jr
- Toronto Raptors should not enter the Kevin Durant sweepstakes
- Toronto Raptors reportedly closing on extensions with VanVleet and Young
- Toronto Raptors get what they need in drafting Christian Koloko
Prior to the trades involving the two players, the Bucks were arguably a better team than the Raptors. At least this was the case, based on the four games between the two teams in 2018-19, with Milwaukee taking the season series 3-1.
Certainly, Mirotic is an excellent addition to the Bucks. He will likely come off the bench, but still strengthens the team and provides extra potency from downtown.
However, we will have to wait to see what kind of impact the 27-year-old has. He is still recovering from a strained calf which has caused him to miss eight games entering Saturday’s action, and it’s conceivable the Bucks may keep him out until after the All-Star break.
Regardless of when Mirotic does return, Raptors fans are left to wonder how he would have fitted in with their team. Did they miss out, or was it a blessing in disguise, opening up the opportunity to trade for Gasol?
Talking of Gasol, ESPN‘s Zach Lowe reports the three-time All-Star was almost moved to the Charlotte Hornets. Apparently, the deal was called off, due to some last-minute haggling.
In this respect, even if you are frustrated that the Raptors didn’t nab Mirotic, it could have been even worse if they also missed out on Gasol. At the end of the day, as much as the majority of fans are saddened to see Jonas Valanciunas leave, the team is definitely now stronger, especially at the defensive end of the floor.
One final “what if” scenario to consider, involves Kristaps Porzingis. As per TSN, he apparently included the Raptors on a short list of teams he wished to be traded to, before being sent to the Dallas Mavericks.
Certainly, Porzingis is an excellent talent with upside, who would have been an intriguing addition. In reality though, he wouldn’t have been any help to the Raptors and their “all-in” mindset this season.
The 2018 All-Star hasn’t played since tearing his left ACL in February last year. He is still recovering and not expected to play at all this season.
What do you make of the speculation linking the Toronto Raptors to Mirotic and Porzingis? Would you have preferred one of them, or are you satisfied with the addition of Gasol? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.