The Raptors are looking for power forwards, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, who’s heard the team attached to Thaddeus Young, Kenneth Faried and Markieff Morris, as Windhorst said on TSN 1050 radio in Toronto (audio link; scroll to 6:30 mark) and as Devin Kharpertian of The Brooklyn Game transcribes. Fellow ESPN scribe Marc Stein identified Toronto’s interest in Morris earlier this month, as we detailed at the time. The salary structure of the Raptors would make it tough for the team to deal anyone from its existing roster, as Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca pointed out, but the team has an extra first-round pick for each of the next two drafts, and GM Masai Ujiri has signaled that he wants to trade at least one of those picks at some point, if not before next week’s trade deadline. Still, Toronto doesn’t have the cap room or trade exception to absorb either Young, Faried or Morris without relinquishing salary.
Young seems as though he’d be tough to wrangle from Brooklyn. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov wants to keep Young and Brook Lopez, believing the team can surround them with free agents in the summer and quickly return to contention, according to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck (Twitter links). Nets CEO Brett Yormark recently mentioned Young as one of the team’s building blocks. The ninth-year veteran who re-signed with the Nets this past summer on a four-year, $50MM deal is averaging a career-best 9.1 rebounds per game.
Faried isn’t on the trade block, either, as Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post recently wrote, nonetheless adding that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Nuggets moved him for an overwhelming offer. Faried and the Nuggets appeared to share mutual doubts about each other as of this past spring, with the power forward reportedly a significant contributor to the downfall of former coach Brian Shaw, but such chatter has largely disappeared this season under new coach Michael Malone. Faried’s contributions have been steady so far this year, and his 55.3% field goal percentage is his best since he shot 58.6% as a rookie. He’s in the first year of a four-year, $50MM extension.