The Raptors are reportedly eyeing an upgrade at the power forward spot, a position where 35-year-old Luis Scola is currently the starter. Toronto has reportedly expressed interest in the Suns’ P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris, either of whom could be a boon to the team’s rotation. The Suns aren’t expected to give either player away cheaply if the team does indeed decide to make a trade, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
The Raptors certainly have some appealing assets to deal, with the franchise currently slated for an extra first-round pick both this year and next. Raptors GM Masai Ujiri has indicated that the team plans to unload the surplus of first-rounders at some point, but Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun reported that the Raptors have no intention of giving them up cheaply and aren’t interested in a stopgap player. However, that report was filed prior to James Johnson undergoing an MRI on Tuesday after suffering an ankle injury. Johnson was filling in at small forward for DeMarre Carroll, who still remains at least a few weeks away from returning after right knee surgery.
Toronto’s interest in Tucker dates back to at least the summer of 2014, when he was a free agent and re-signed with Phoenix, which led to the Raptors inking Johnson instead, as Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca noted. Tucker was originally a draft pick of the Raptors in 2006, but that was prior to Ujiri taking over Toronto’s front office. While Tucker would likely be just a stopgap if acquired, Morris would certainly factor into the team’s future plans given that he still has three more seasons remaining on the four-year, $32MM extension he signed with Phoenix in 2014.
Phoenix has reportedly been targeting young players and draft picks in exchange for Morris, and the Raptors do happen to have recent first-round picks Lucas Nogueira and Bruno Caboclo to dangle, as well as those surplus first-rounders for the next two seasons. The Suns reportedly spoke with the Pelicans and Rockets about Morris trades earlier this season, and the Pistons are also reportedly interested, so the Raptors may have some competition if they are indeed interested in Morris.
This brings me to the topic for today: Should the Raptors look to upgrade their power forward position? If so, whom should they target?
If you were Raptors GM, which player would you attempt to pry away from the Suns — Tucker or Morris? If you don’t think either would be a good fit, or perhaps believe that the price would be too high to land one of the Suns forwards, whom should the team target? One possibility I’ll throw out there is the Celtics’ David Lee, who is reportedly unhappy with his reduced role in Boston while the team looks to either trade him or reach a buyout arrangement. While I wouldn’t necessarily trade for Lee if I were running the Raptors, he could be a valuable in-season pickup for very little cost if he is in fact released.
But that’s merely my opinion and we’re looking for yours. Take to the comments section to share your thoughts on the matter. We look forward to what you have to say.