Zach Lowe’s final Grantland piece of 2013 kicks off with an extended look at the rebuilding Raptors, who are a surprising 7-3 since sending Rudy Gay to Sacramento. The hot stretch, which has vaulted Toronto into first place in a weak Atlantic Division, has created a whole new set of questions about whether or not the team will continue to sell off pieces. Lowe spoke to GM Masai Ujiri, coach Dwane Casey, and DeMar DeRozan about that subject and more in his piece, which is worth reading in full. Here are a few of the highlights:
- While there have been rumblings that the Raptors would at least gauge the trade market for DeRozan, Lowe writes that the team seems to be growing more comfortable with the idea of the 24-year-old as a long-term core piece.
- The market for Kyle Lowry hasn’t been as robust as the club may have anticipated, and Lowe runs down several reasons why specific suitors haven’t gotten too involved. One potential fit, the Heat, would “love a shot” at Lowry, but has little to offer.
- If the Raptors’ success continues and the team appears to have a real shot at a top-four seed in the East, Terrence Ross could become a trade chip, according to Lowe. Noting that Arron Afflalo played for Ujiri’s team in Denver, Lowe cites several league sources who say that the Magic value Ross highly.
- Assuming the Raptors did decide to explore any “buy now”-type moves, it’ll be difficult for the team to unload either Landry Fields or Steve Novak in such a deal, says Lowe.