The Raptors were willing to part with a slew of draft assets to acquire Damian Lillard, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca, but a Western Conference source tells him they were hoping to reach a deal with the Trail Blazers that didn’t include Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby or Scottie Barnes.
Grange hears that Toronto’s offer included up to three future first-round picks, two pick swaps and rookie forward Gradey Dick. Team officials believed they could become title contenders by adding Lillard to their existing talent, but not by having him replace one of their key components.
The fact that the Raptors were involved in discussions for Lillard shows that the front office isn’t content with the team in its current form, observes Eric Koreen of The Athletic. Big decisions are coming up soon that will affect the organization’s future, and team officials will have to determine whether they’re planning to contend or rebuild.
Siakam and Gary Trent Jr. both have expiring contracts and are currently eligible for extensions. Another potential free agent next summer is Anunoby, who has a $19.9MM player option for 2024/25 that he’s expected to decline. Koreen notes that means the window is closing on a potential win-now move if the Raptors don’t do something by February’s trade deadline.
There’s more from Toronto:
- The Raptors aren’t likely to pursue Jrue Holiday, who is reportedly back on the market after being sent to Portland in the Lillard deal, Grange states in the same piece. Toronto wanted Lillard to provide more spacing for Barnes and Siakam, and Holiday isn’t on the same level as an outside shooter.
- The Raptors haven’t held any extension talks with Siakam, Grange adds. Siakam will become eligible for a super-max deal if he remains in Toronto and makes an All-NBA team in 2024.
- In a separate story, Koreen looks at questions for every player on the Raptors’ roster, including the need for a new lead guard after the loss of Fred VanVleet in free agency. He notes that Dennis Schröder normally excels at getting into the paint, but he may find that more difficult as Toronto doesn’t have enough outside shooting to provide driving lanes.
- Toronto pulled off a G League trade this week, with the Raptors 905 acquiring the rights to Denzel Valentine from the Maine Celtics in exchange for Kylor Kelley, tweets Blake Murphy of SportsNet.