Who Should The Raptors Target At The Trade Deadline?

The current owners of the fourth-seed in the Eastern Conference, there’s every reason to believe the Raptors will be active buyers at the trade deadline. But who will team president Masai Ujiri and GM Jeff Weltman target? As things currently stand, the Raptors will enter the second half with their 2015/16 rotation in place, sans Bismack Biyombo.

DeMar DeRozan has been vocal in his push for Toronto’s front office to acquire help; telling Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star “help is a great word with any team. Anybody could take help any day if it makes you better, a team better, anything.” DeMarre Carroll echoed DeRozan’s sentiments, noting that the team’s starting unit has been stretched thin amid a playoff run.

One form of help (albeit a flashy one) could come in the form of Serge Ibaka. This past week, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders indicated the Raptors as a potential “long-term fit” for Ibaka’s services. Ibaka’s in the final year of a four-year, $49MM contract, but the Magic’s asking price is believed to be high. Provided Dwane Casey and the Raptors don’t need to sell off rotation players to acquire him, Ibaka would be a considerable upgrade over Patrick Patterson and Pascal Siakam in Toronto’s frontcourt.

Josh Lewenberg of TSN doubled-down on the team’s need to pursue a trade, citing the team’s recent struggles (Toronto has gone 4-6 over their last 10 games). While the team had offseason acquisition Jared Sullinger tabbed for a starting role, the former Celtic is still working to get in shape after suffering a fractured right foot in October. The Raptors have long admired Paul Millsap‘s game, Lewenberg writes, but the Hawks appear unlikely to deal him amidst their pursuit of a four-seed.

Ryan Wolstat of the National Post cited Ibaka and Millsap as ideal fits, while throwing Taj Gibson, Trevor Booker, and Wilson Chandler in the mix as potential trade targets. While Booker isn’t a “sexy name,” compared to Ibaka or Millsap, he has quietly enjoyed a productive for the 9-44 Nets. Averaging 10 points with 8.7 rebounds, the 29-year-old Booker is in the first year of a two-year, $18.375MM pact. Booker’s “doggedness,” on each end of the court is a trait the Raptors could use, Wolstat notes.

What do you think? Which target makes the most sense for Ujiri and Weltman to pursue? What’s Toronto’s ceiling for a 2016/17 playoff run?

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18 thoughts on “Who Should The Raptors Target At The Trade Deadline?

  1. Formerlyz

    If they could get Booker, I think that would be a great fit for them at the 4

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  2. shadybats19

    One guy who intrigues me is Richaun Holmes from Philly. His style and attitude of play reminds me of Bismack’s intensity.

    That being said, this team’s ceiling can only match last year’s playoff run. Would take a miracle to knock the cavs off, that’s why the 2-3 seed is so important.

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    • Holmes is a good high energy big for 10 mpg. He’s undersized for a center, bad rebounder, and a gambling shot blocker. Not much offensive game outside of finishing near the hoop.

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  3. solball

    “Ibaka’s in the first year of a four-year, $49MM contract” What?

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    • MoneyMike733

      That is his contract but this is the last season of said deal for when he will be a UFA next season

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      • Mack Green

        That line, “Ibaka’s in the first year of a four-year, $49MM contract” is totally inaccurate making that whole premise of his article shaky. Indeed if Ibaka were in the first year of that friendly salaried deal, Orlando could demand significant assets. However, being in the final year that leverage is reduced significantly as the Magic would not want to lose him for nothing through free agency.

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        • Luke Adams

          Yeah, it should have said “final” year rather than “first.” However, multiple recent reports have said that the Magic are still asking for a lot. I’ve reworded that sentence to make it clearer.

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          • MoneyMike733

            No biggies guys as if it was me im sure i would make the same mistake from time to time…either way love all the info and keep up the great work yall do here !!!

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  4. Hen1CHC

    Wilson Chandler fits the offensive scheme, comes in as a better 2Pat, stretches the floor and adds a scoring punch.

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  5. This roster requires a very specific fit, and Ibaka is probably the only legitimate candidate. Chandler would be nice too, seeing as Carroll looks finished, or at least in need of rejuvenation that probably won’t happen midseason. Even then, that probably doesn’t make them good enough to get past the Cavs.

    The deeper question is, if this is a flawed roster (and it is), which flaws are manageable, and which need to be excised? They don’t have much in terms of dead salary, so for salary matching purposes, rotation pieces will have to be moved.

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  6. scotts

    Ibaka would be a good fit, but feel you’d need to give up Ross or Joseph. If the Raptors can get Ibaka without doing that, then they need to pull the trigger. Chandler, Gibson, Booker, and Illyasova are other decent options. Another one to add would be Beasley. If the Bucks continue their collapse getting Beasley for cheap would be a nice subtle move to bolster the bench.

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    • Magic would want Powell in the package. No deal without him.

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