UPDATE: March 23, 10:00 p.m. — The Raptors are discussing deals involving Lowry and Powell on multiple fronts heading into Tuesday night, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Philly and Miami are interested in Lowry. Talks are expected to go into Wednesday and even Thursday before the deadline at 3 p.m. ET. Lowry and Powell appear to be the premier guards available on the market along with Lonzo Ball and George Hill.
What happened to the Toronto Raptors? It feels like it was yesterday when Kawhi Leonard helped the team win a title in 2019. After that, Leonard left but the future was still bright with Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, along with OG Anunoby and Norman Powell. Now, things appear to be reaching a boiling point.
Siakam was fined $50,000 by the team for “directing heated choice words” at head coach Nick Nurse after Sunday’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. All the Raptors did after that loss was lose again — their ninth straight — on Monday night to the Houston Rockets, who hadn’t won a game since Feb. 4. Yes, that was 20 straight Ls. So the Raptors have pretty much hit rock bottom.
The team could opt to move PG Kyle Lowry before Thursday’s trade deadline. Norman Powell’s name has popped up in trade rumors and now Siakam is butting heads with Nurse. Could we see an all-out exodus in Toronto (Tampa, actually)? The Raptors’ chances of making a run and getting into the play-in tournament are getting slim by the day. Even if they get in, the chances of coming out alive and making the postseason, let alone a run in the East, are even more slim.
Does this mean we could see a firesale with Lowry and Powell out the door? What happens with Siakam? He signed a massive extension this offseason that runs through 2024. Fred VanVleet is also under contract long-term. Might Nurse bolt? Does this mean Masai Ujiri looks for greener pastures? As you can see, there are a lot of question marks right now.