One of the most intriguing teams in the NBA at the trade deadline is the Toronto Raptors. Toronto was a solid playoff team last year with a 48-34 record and had a rising star in Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes. With solid starters across the board and Pascal Siakam entering his prime, it felt like the Raptors were ready to contend.
Instead, it’s been a disastrous season up north. The Raptors are struggling to shoot, defend and most importantly, win games. Barnes has not made a leap, which has put Toronto in a tough spot. As the trade deadline approaches, will the Raptors hit the reset button on their roster?
Barnes won’t be dealt, and Siakam is unlikely to be moved as well. The three players in focus for Toronto are Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. The Clippers are in the market for a point guard and could use VanVleet, while the Knicks have been linked to Anunoby. Trent Jr. hasn’t been in the rumor mill much but he is set to be a free agent and can basically be an expiring contract for a contending team.
Prediction: Raptors deal two of VanVleet, Anunoby and Trent Jr.
Too much has gone wrong for Toronto to keep chugging through the season with this group, even if the play-in tournament is in reach. The Raptors likely won’t deal all three of the above players but I think they’ll deal two. VanVleet has enough goodwill as part of the championship team to potentially be saved. Anunoby and Trent Jr. hold more trade value and will likely be on the move.