Here are three names that the Raptors should pay particular attention to, and one name that they should steer clear from.
O.J. Mayo - Memphis Grizzlies
To get him the Raptors would probably have to sacrifice Leandro Barbosa and, more significantly, may have to absorb the contract of Hasheem Thabeet, the preeminent bust of last year's draft. The Grizzlies are only a game-and-a-half out of the eighth playoff spot out West, and getting a dependable veteran scorer off of the bench (to essentially replace Mayo without the drama that comes from having him) might be just the ticket to pry him away from the Grizzlies. Swapping Barbosa for Mayo should be a pretty easy deal for the Raptors to pull the trigger on if Memphis were amenable, but taking on Thabeet and the $5-million he's guaranteed next season might be a deal-breaker. No one knows what Memphis would demand (and what they would accept) to get Mayo out of their system, but the Raptors would appear to be a team well positioned to find out this month.
Jonny Flynn - Minnesota Timberwolves
It's hard to say what the Raptors would have to sacrifice to get Flynn, though. Obviously he's not worth Toronto's first-round pick, and Minnesota is already well below the cap so financial savings wouldn't appear to be a major consideration. Taking back an onerous contract (like that of Martell Webster) doesn't hold much interest for Toronto, either, so it's again unclear what it would take to pry Flynn loose. Put it this way: if the Raptors can get him for Miami's pick plus a non-core asset, you jump on it. If they have to take back Webster or give up Bayless or a better pick, it's not worth it. Chalk this acquisition up as unlikely.
Avery Bradley - Boston Celtics
The Raptors were hot after Bradley in the draft, though their interest may have cooled since acquiring Bayless. Still, Boston may be in the market for some inexpensive help at the small forward spot with Marquis Daniels going down, and Sonny Weems or Julian Wright may be enough to pry Bradley loose if the Raptors still want him.
DO NOT PURSUE
Aaron Brooks - Houston Rockets
It would seem counter-intuitive to say the Raptors should pursue Jonny Flynn, basically a low-rent version of Brooks, and not Brooks himself this winter, but that isn't necessarily true. Flynn still has two more years on his rookie deal to play with before the Raptors would have to make any kind of longterm decision with regards to him, whereas Brooks is a free agent this summer. The Raptors have worked hard to open up cap space this summer, and having to consider spending it on Brooks (whom they would probably not consider spending it on were he merely someone else's free agent this summer) takes attention away from better-suited pursuits. Sure, Brooks at $2-million is great. Having to re-sign him for $5-$6-million - not so much. He may be a name that attracts some interest this month, but it's not likely to come from the Raptors.
I like the idea of mayo and thabeet coming to the raptors for barbosa because i would like to see the raptors experiment Bargnani + Thabeet; see how that goes. i would trade bradley for weem or wright. What are your thoughts ?