The window is rapidly closing for the Raptors to be a contender in the NBA. Both DeRozan & Lowry are in the primes. The Raptors will most likely pay DeRozan this summer in the neighbourhood of $125-150M/over 5 years to resign. And then the following summer pay Lowry. It will be really hard to add free agents when the Raptors have to shell out big bucks to keep DeRozan & Lowry. So they must do it through trade.
Potential list of players the Raptors could target via trade:
Nic Batum (It’s known he likes Toronto)
What we would give up: Ross, Bebe, Bruno, & James Johnson
Why the Hornets would do it: The Hornets know Batum isn’t resigning with them and this deal gives them the ability to pair Ross, a shooting wing, with a defensive wing in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Why the Raptors do it: The Raptors need better ball movement. They are currently in the bottom half in passing. Nic Batum is a versatile wing that can shoot, pass, and play D. The wing potential wing rotation of DeRozan, Batum, & Carroll gets me excited.
Why the Raptors might not do it: Batum is a free agent in the summer so bringing him and DeRozan back will be extremely hard.
Bottom line: If the Raptors want a contender they will have to take a risk on someone and go into the luxury tax. The league is far too competitive to win by being cheap.
Ryan Anderson (Hard to see him resigning for a reasonable price)
What we would give up: Patrick Patterson
Why the Pelicans would do it: Ryan Anderson is on an expiring contract and they probably aren’t planning on paying him. Patterson has an extra year on his contract and saves the Pels roughly $2.25M.
Why the Raptors would do it: Ryan Anderson is basically a better version of Patrick Patterson. So there’s no short-term cost in losing Patterson.
Why the Raptors might not do it: Are the Raptors really interested in paying Anderson this summer upwards of $15M/YR?
Bottom line: Anderson would help the Raptors with scoring and might be that push to get us to the second round. It’s a low risk/low reward move.
Markieff Morris (Good value contract, but he’s a head case)
What the Raptors would give up: Patrick Patterson
Why the Suns would do it: Morris clearly wants out of Phoenix and has made it known. The offers around the league seem to be low.
Why the Raptors would do it: In theory Morris is a better player than Patterson especially on the defensive end. And he’s on a good contract.
Why the Raptors wouldn’t do it: Markieff Morris has attitude issues and could mess up the chemistry on the team.
Bottom line: Raptors probably aren’t doing this because they don’t want to deal with Morris’s off the court issues, but there aren’t a lot of deals to be made. Now is the time to gamble on someone.
Kevin Martin (A vet that can make big shots)
What the Raptors would give up: James Johnson, Bebe, & Bruno
Why the T-Wolves would do it: They want to save some money and aren’t really making use of Martin anyways.
Why the Raptors would do it: Martin is a quality shooter that would give our bench some more depth. And we wouldn’t be giving up much.
Why the Raptors wouldn’t do it: With Carroll still hurt the Raptors need James Johnson.
Bottom line: JJ is probably gone this summer and the Raptors probably could make do without him. It doesn’t fix the PF issue, but it strengthens the bench for a little cost.