The ideal trade partner is probably Phoenix. The Suns have only $ 70 Million in guaranteed salary in 2018-19, the #16 pick, and a roster with more holes than a porcupine’s underwear. Since they are in the lottery with an excellent chance at the #1 pick, they may be amenable to surrendering their second first-rounder. We would likely have to take back a bad contract (Jared Dudley’s last season at $ 9 Million?), but I could live with that.
Here’s a trade which roughly duplicates what Masai did last summer when dumping Cory Joseph because of the same salary-cap pressure he’s under now.
Don’t be surprised if they also try to acquire San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard in a trade. Sources have said the Sixers have expressed interest in the two-time all-star. While he is eligible for a five-year, $219-million “super-max” extension with the Spurs this summer, there are reports that Leonard wants out after staying away from the team for most of the season with a quad injury. He played in only nine games.
Leonard has a great relationship with Sixers coach Brett Brown. However, trading for him would be risky without first getting a guarantee that he’ll agree to a contract extension. Leonard is set to become a free agent on July 1, 2019.
The Raptors won a lot of regular season games under Dwane Casey. Including the first two years of his tenure when they struggled, he went 320-238 in his time in Toronto which is a really good record.
The Raptors consistently fell apart in the playoffs largely due to his flaws as a strategist.
Even in the regular season, the flaws were often obvious. The Raptors consistently ranked at the bottom of the NBA in passes per game as their offense largely was giving the ball to Lowry or DeRozan and hoping they score.
The offense was revamped at the behest of Masai Ujiri and under the tutelage of Nick Nurse, but Casey has been the first to say that he was not at the center of that change.
Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris isn’t one to hold his punches. Going up against the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, Morris recognizes the path of destruction that the Cavs superstar left behind on his way to a second-straight playoff series against the Beantown team.
If the Raptors are interested in shaking up the roster while remaining contenders, swapping DeRozan for Batum and assets or for Wiggins could make sense.
If the team is more interested in a full rebuild, the Mavericks’ deal would be logical, as Dallas has the third-best lottery odds and is guaranteed a top-six pick (though Fisher reported the Mavericks wouldn’t be interested in such a deal).
Under any circumstance, adding Leonard would work given his status as one of the best two-way players in the NBA when he’s healthy. It’s likely that a good portion of the NBA will be calling San Antonio this summer if there’s any indication Leonard is on the block.
The team’s firing of Dwane Casey this offseason after a 59-win season suggests other changes could be coming as well, though DeRozan isn’t the only player who could be moved. The team could choose to deal star point guard Kyle Lowry, for instance, or move other expensive veterans such as Jonas Valanciunas or Serge Ibaka.
D’Antoni addressed Casey’s firing when he spoke with reporters this week.
“I’m not criticizing anyone, everybody has their reasons for making decisions,” D’Antoni said. “It’s just the nature of the business, but it’s kind of laughable.”
D’Antoni said he thinks Casey, who won the 2017-18 NBCA Coach of the Year Award, will “find another spot” in the NBA.
“I think all coaches are numb to that. You get Coach of the Year. You have the best (regular season) the franchise has ever had. You get fired. It’s like really?” D’Antoni said. “He’s classy and good and he’s one of the better coaches in the league.”
Casey declined to double-team James on what became yet another highlight for LeBron’s postseason highlight reel. That decision and a call to use O.G. Anunoby and C.J. Miles as primary defenders against James were both called into question before and after the Raptors were swept.
“Casey has little feel for how to manipulate matchups and anticipate problems,” wrote Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer in an article entitled “Tyronn Lue Is Running Circles Around Dwane Casey.” “He’s a reactive coach who comes into the series trying to stick with lineups he’s used all season, and then starts scrambling wildly when he’s forced to adjust.”
Those adjustments apparently didn’t come quickly enough, and Casey was shown the door and reportedly given an earful on the way out with one more year and $6.5 million remaining on his contract.
This season, Toronto’s two best players were, at best, borderline top-15 players. You can’t really argue that makes them different than Boston, though, not with their injuries. Horford might make an All-NBA team this season, but it’s not a lock. (He has been a top-10 player in these playoffs, however.)
Past those two, though, the Raptors had some flaws. As mentioned above, their centers got run off the floor way too quickly for comfort. Losing Fred VanVleet to injury (and then seeing him return while clearly not being 100 percent) was an enormous blow to the bench unit’s ultimate glue guy. They didn’t have a clear wing that stood out from the pack — OG Anunoby wasn’t always trustworthy, Delon Wright was streaky, Pascal Siakam’s lack of shooting forced him off the floor at times, and C.J. Miles didn’t give the team enough defensively.
Metta World Peace knows who should replace Dwane Casey as the head coach of the Toronto Raptors.
TMZ Sports ran into World Peace in Beverly Hills, and actually broke the news to him that Casey was fired. The conversation quickly turned to the team’s global ambassador and rapper Drake, who World Peace thinks could be a good coach for the Raptors if he has the right people around him.
“If he had the right staff, he could do it,” World Peace told TMZ. “He should do it. Yeah, he should do it. I think he could do it.”
Jabari Parker came into the league a few years ago with all the hype in the world behind him but like so many others, his career has unfortunately been hindered with injuries, and he hasn’t produced because of it. When he is on the court, he’s quite a decent player, but the Toronto Raptors are looking to add pieces to equip their team for a Finals run, and an inconsistent, unproven talent like Parker just doesn’t help their cause too much at the moment.
They’ve also got a pretty deep team at the moment and one of their biggest needs is a player off the bench that can score on their own. Parker just hasn’t shown that ability over his young career, and although he’s likely going to go to a team that has the time and patience to develop him, which will be good for him, he just doesn’t fit the needs of this Raptors team.
If he hadn’t suffered not one but two devastating knee injuries, he no doubt would have been on the Raptors radar, but at this point in time, Parker just doesn’t help this team succeed. They don’t have long together as a core group, so they need to succeed now, this means they should stay away from Parker.
Raptors get: Guard Nicolas Batum; Charlotte’s 2019 first-round pick (top-10 protected in 2019, top-four protected in 2020 and 2021, converts to second-round picks in 2022 and 2023 if not conveyed); Utah’s 2018 second-round pick
Hornets get: Guard DeMar DeRozan
Jazz get: Forward/center Frank Kaminsky
Kevin Pelton: This is the kind of trade the Raptors would make only if they believe DeRozan’s game fundamentally can’t translate to the postseason; they were outscored by 23.1 points per 100 possessions with him on the court in their loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, per NBA Advanced Stats. There’s little question Toronto would be downgrading in the regular season — that’s the whole reason the Hornets, still hoping just to make the playoffs, would make the trade — but Batum’s playmaking from the wing would move the Raptors’ starting lineup closer to the kind of pass-first style the team’s young reserves play. He would also be an upgrade defensively.