Raptors Highly Interested In Ryan Anderson

The Raptors have high interest in Ryan Anderson as the trade deadline approaches, reports Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). Toronto joins a handful of teams apparently eyeing the soon-to-be free agent for a trade, as well as the Pistons, who’ve reportedly been looking at him but only as a potential offseason signee. The Raptors are seeking power forwards, with Thaddeus Young, Kenneth Faried and Markieff Morris among the names on their radar, according to multiple reports. Toronto has engaged in exploratory discussions about those three as well as P.J. Tucker, another object of their interest, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, though it’s not entirely clear whether those are internal or external talks.

Anderson is making $8.5MM this season, and the Raptors, who are over the cap and without a trade exception, would have to match for that salary to trade for him, a complicated task given the construction of Toronto’s roster, as Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca has pointed out. Toronto has an extra pick in each of the next two drafts to offer, and GM Masai Ujiri has signaled an intent to eventually trade at least one of those, but any deal would have to involve more than just draft assets going to New Orleans.

Conflicting reports have emerged about the likelihood of an Anderson trade this season, though more of them indicate that he’s not the likeliest trade candidate on the New Orleans roster than the other way around. New Orleans reportedly made Anderson available earlier this season, but the team wasn’t anxious to trade him, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported, adding Wednesday that the Wizards have asked about him. The Rockets “kicked the tires” on Anderson earlier this season, Kyler also reported. New Orleans apparently had talks with the Suns that involved Anderson, while differing reports paint an unclear picture of whether the Pelicans turned down an offer from the Kings of Rudy Gay for Anderson.

The subject of the Raptors and power forwards was the topic for our Community Shootaround on Wednesday.

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