Raptors Rumors: VanVleet, Poeltl, Siakam, Trent, Anunoby, Poole

The Raptors believe that they can be “a factor” in the East next season by bringing back the same core, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. Although Toronto missed the playoffs in 2022/23, the team is apparently confident that a coaching change and a full offseason for this group will help make a difference in ’23/24.

Returning the same core would mean re-signing point guard Fred VanVleet and center Jakob Poeltl, two of the top free agents on the 2023 market. According to Grange, the Raptors are expected to meet with VanVleet in Los Angeles on Friday when free agency opens and are working out plans to link up with Poeltl as well.

Like other reporters, Grange has heard that Houston may be preparing a two-year contract offer in excess of $80MM for VanVleet, which would probably be more than Toronto is willing to pay on an annual basis. However, the Raptors – who might be open to a three- or four-year deal – believe the veteran guard wants to remain in Toronto and is still confident about their ability to bring him back.

As for Poeltl, there has been a belief that the big man will be back in the fold if the Raptors make a four-year offer in the neighborhood of $80MM, Grange says. However, multiple league sources tell Sportsnet.ca that the Spurs – keen on pairing Victor Wembanyama with a veteran center – have inquired about the possibility of reuniting with Poeltl. The Spurs will have the cap room necessary to make life difficult for Toronto if they choose to pursue the 27-year-old, who was dealt from San Antonio to Toronto in February.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • Multiple teams have inquired about Pascal Siakam‘s availability, Grange reports. Besides the Hawks, Grange identifies the Hornets, Mavericks, Rockets, Pelicans, and Kings as clubs that have made calls about the two-time All-NBA forward. The Raptors have been open to listening, but not many of the conversations they’ve had about Siakam even qualify as “preliminary” trade discussions, according to Grange.
  • While Gary Trent Jr.‘s camp has conveyed interest in working out an extension after he picked up his 2023/24 player option, the Raptors are taking a wait-and-see approach and haven’t made plans to formally discuss a new deal with Trent in the near future, Grange writes.
  • Before agreeing to trade Jordan Poole to Washington, the Warriors reached out to the Raptors to see if they’d be interested in a deal centered around Poole and forward OG Anunoby, reports Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. Toronto didn’t have interest in exploring the idea further.
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