The Raptors have reached out to the Jazz to inquire on Boris Diaw, reports Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter links). Jones describes the contact – and any talks between the two teams – as “strictly preliminary.”
As we noted this morning, the Jazz are expected to waive Diaw within the next couple days if they can’t find a trade partner for him. His $7.5MM salary is set to become guaranteed for 2017/18 if he remains under contract beyond Saturday.
Given Diaw’s contract situation, the Raptors’ interest is somewhat confusing. Once the DeMarre Carroll trade is finished, Toronto would have a trade exception big enough to accommodate Diaw’s salary, but that would push the team into the tax, and it’s not clear why the Raptors would be willing to cross back over that threshold for a player who will likely be waived by Utah anyway.
As such, it makes sense that the Raptors would be sending out some salary of their own in any deal involving Diaw. With Carroll ticketed for the Nets and Cory Joseph on the verge of being sent to Indiana, the only salary-dump candidate left on Toronto’s roster is Jonas Valanciunas. However, I’m skeptical that the Jazz would have much interest in him, particularly since acquiring him compromise the team’s ability to finalize deals with Thabo Sefolosha, Jonas Jerebko, and Ekpe Udoh, based on the terms reported.
It’s possible the Raptors are interested in somehow pulling Diaw into the Joseph deal with the Pacers or the Carroll deal with the Nets — neither of those trades has been officially finalized yet. I don’t see any obvious motivation for that either though, so I’d be surprised if the Raptors and Jazz worked out anything involving the French forward.