The clock is ticking for the Toronto Raptors and the rest of the league to make some last minute adjustments before the trade window closes for good this season.
At one point, it looked like the Raps just needed some help up front to reclaim their status as title contenders in the heavily fortified Eastern Conference.
But it seems unfavorable speculation has played a role for the franchise this season, as injuries, KOVID-19 and their temporary move to Tampa Bay have really played a role in their sudden drop in the rankings.
The Raptors, who lost their last nine games, are currently eliminated from the playoffs with a record of 17-26. Barring a major turnaround, it looks like the 2019 NBA champion will be drawn at the end of the season.
While guys like Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby still give the team hope for the future, it seems that some key players have already enjoyed the hospitality of Toronto.
Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell are both reportedly in the hotseat and could offer Toronto valuable additions in the future.
It looks like the former rivals need help on all fronts at the moment, but they will need to look behind the scenes as early as Thursday to avoid a potential season-ending loss.
Raptors need another superstar
FVV is great and all, but most experts still see him as a solid second or third option and not someone to build a relationship with. Siakam’s recent altercation with coach Nick Nurse also shows that he may not be quite a franchise player in the long run.
Toronto needs a new DeMar Derozan or, if they’re lucky, a new Kawhi Leonard, to turn their season around.
Lowry should be that guy, but it’s clear he has big things in store for another franchise before he ends his career.
If they can convince other teams to take on Lowry’s $30 million salary this season, they’ll have plenty of room to build around another superstar. That is, if someone bites. In fact, it’s likely that the point guard, who is a champion in the NBA, will be bought out and the Raptors will simply cede his spot instead of bringing in players in exchange.
Still, it’s not a bad deal, especially if they can also move winger Powell in a trade. A package of two players could even be very attractive to other teams looking to trade their star players.
The ideal scenario for Toronto would be to attract a superstar who can also play in the middle to fill the gaping hole they have in front of them. Andre Drummond is one of them, although the possibility of acquiring him via trade remains uncertain. Like Lowry, the two-time All-Star will likely be bought out and join a confident buyer rather than a struggling Raps franchise.
Another defensive center, Miles Turner of the Pacers, could also be a boon for Nurse’s team if they can push him back.
Still, the Raps had better go after this player, because there are reportedly several on the trading block right now. The deal with the Wizards for Bradley Beal seems far-fetched, but the Raptors should gauge if they have the option.
Someone like Victor Oladipo or maybe even aging veterans like LaMarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love could still make a better team out of them.
If all else fails, Toronto can always take the more familiar route and try to bring Derozan back north.
frequently asked questions
What time is the NBA trade deadline in 2021?
Report: The Sixers and Heat lead the hunt for Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, is arguably the top potential price on the trade market for 3 p.m. today. The ET deadline, meaning Wednesday’s win against the Denver Nuggets could be his last in a Toronto Raptors uniform.
Who was traded to the Raptors?
This happened shortly after Thomas, who was out for much of the season, was traded to the Utah Jazz in exchange for the Golden State Warriors, who finished second in 2021. Toronto will trade guard Matt Thomas to the Utah Jazz for a future second-round pick, a source told ESPN.
When is the NBA trading deadline?
When does the negotiation period end? The NBA trade deadline for 2021 is Thursday the 25th. March at 3pm. IT. All transactions must be completed and submitted to the division office by this date.
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