Trade Deadline Open Thread: No trades for Toronto

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The deadline is done, and the Toronto Raptors did nothing. That was always going to be the most likely scenario. The team has a very set rotation, and the cost of upgrading around the margins seemed to be too high in terms of limiting Toronto’s long-term flexibility. There were no stars available, so Toronto couldn’t really make any drastic changes, either.

Furthermore, no team seemed to make dramatic improvements. Yes, the Miami Heat added marginal, defense-first wings in Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala, but they are not going to turn the tide against Toronto in the playoffs. Toronto has to firmly be the favourite in a series against Miami. Philadelphia added two castoff Warrior wings, but they lost Ennis, and they aren’t significantly better either. Neither Boston nor Milwaukee made a move.

Toronto has to be happy with this deadline. They were never quite likely to make a win-now move, so it’s a win that none of their Eastern rivals did, either. The Raptors’ brass has never been short-sighted, so it makes sense that they weren’t today, either. All in all, this deadline was positive for the Raptors.

3:00 pm: So it’s 3:00 pm, and the trade deadline is officially over. News always trickles in for a few minutes after, but I think we can confidently say the Raptors didn’t make a move. I’ll give a much deeper analysis over the next few minutes.

2:55 pm: Some extra description of the Morris-to-Clippers deal. Somehow the Wizards wriggled their way in there? The biggest upshot of this news is that Isaiah Thomas is now with the Clippers. Not sure how much impact he’ll make there, but he’s another rotation guy the Clips bought.

2:53 pm: Now Woj is reporting that Ennis has been traded to Orlando for a second-round pick. I’m not sure what happened with the Shams report, or why he deleted. Strange. I guess Ennis was going to lose his minutes to Burks and Robinson, so he wanted out?

2:45 pm: 15 minutes left. Honestly, plenty has happened, but Toronto’s playoff path doesn’t seem any easier or any harder than it did at the beginning of the day. So a quiet day in Toronto-land. Still time, of course, for that to change.

2:40 pm: Now we’re talking. Per Shams, “The 76ers have traded James Ennis to Orlando. Ennis has waived his no-trade clause for trade to go through.” Wait, then Shams deleted the tweet immediately after? I’m confused. Sounds like Ennis really, really didn’t want to be there. Things are not rosy in Philadelphia at the moment, no matter what’s going on.

2:27 pm: More! Jordan McRae to the Denver Nuggets for Shabazz Napier, per Candace Buckner.

2:26 pm: And James Johnson is back on the move, this time to Minnesota in exchange for Gorgui Dieng. This one kind of makes sense for both sides. Memphis takes on an extra year for a young player who could get better, while Minnesota goes from three years of expenditure to two. I like Dieng, so Memphis continues collecting fun potential.

2:17 pm: Looks like Drummond is on the move! To Cleveland! Why? I’m not sure, to be honest. But yeah, movement, flurries, action, fun!

Turns out, too, it’s pretty well a straight-up salary dump. Per Kevin O’Connor, Brandon Knight, John Henson and a second-round pick  are heading back to Detroit. What is Detroit doing? What is Cleveland doing? Honestly, two bad teams making one bad trade, as far as I can tell.

2:12 pm: As I write no traction, we have some news! Morris on the move to the Clippers.

2:10 pm: 👀 What else can I do? Not much traction, and we’re getting down to 50 minutes.

1:37 pm: Aaaaand Atlanta is acquiring more functional NBA players for very low costs.

1:30 pm: Ok, so some updates. We have 90 minutes left in the trade deadline, but the news always trickles in for about 15 minutes after the deadline ends. A number of the major dominoes have fallen, but there could still be some movement along the way. The Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t necessarily sellers, but teams have been grovelling for Gallo, and if he goes, other vets like Schroder, Adams, or even Paul could be on the move. Any of those players could make a difference on the right team. Andre Drummond is still for sale, even though no one seems to have offered the right amount for Detroit to be interested. The Clippers have a free roster spot after the Walton move, so you best believe they’re trying to fill that. Apparently, they’re fighting hard for Marcus Morris. There is still much that could happen, even if none of it seems fated. We still don’t know if the end of the deadline will be fireworks or will be silence.

1:15 pm: The trades start coming and they don’t stop coming. This time, some significant close to home. Caboclo!

1:05 pm: Aaaaaand, the floodgates are open. Holy smokes.

12:40 pm: A trade! A trade! The smallest trade possible, but still. First of the day. The Clips are trading Derrick Walton Jr. to the Hawks for cash, per Woj.

12:23 pm: Star Trek is officially the best pairing with a quiet trade deadline day. Not so important that I have to pay close attention, but fun enough that I’m not bemoaning being stuck online. I’m on Next Generation, for those wondering, slowly working my way forward in the series. I’ll probably catch up to the current series in 2030 or something.

12:15 pm: The deal is official, and no Gallo to Miami.


12:01 pm: We’ve made the afternoon! Woj is now reporting that Miami has so far been unable to include Gallo in the deal. Looks like if they want to add Gallo (who is the only piece that substantially improves the team, as far as I’m concerned), it’ll have to be in another deal. That’s excellent news for Toronto.

11:47 am: Still quiet on the digital front. A little bit more news from the Iggy trade. This per Shams: apparently Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill will also be involved in the trade. With Crowder, Hill, and Iggy outbound, Memphis has plenty of salary heading out the door. One has to believe someone like James Johnson or Dion Waiters will be heading back to Memphis, which would make sense considering Justise Winslow is such a valuable chip, adding on bad money would even out the deal. Crowder, though, is a rotation player and will help Miami. Not enough to make a difference in the playoffs, most likely, but Miami continues making small upgrades. Nothing yet on the Gallo front, although so much money heading to Miami has to make it less likely they land Gallinari after all the dust settles.

11:11 am: It’s 11:11, make a wish. Also, as long as we’re here, I don’t think Toronto is going to make a lateral move today. They are incredibly confident in the team they have, and fiddling around the edges, say for a 10th man, is not an upgrade. If Toronto is looking at a 10th man as an important playoff move, then that’s a failure in and of itself. Plus this team is already quite deep. Making a move for Gallinari or Oubre would be realistic upgrades at actual rotation positions, but the cost probably wouldn’t be worth the upgrade. Toronto is not afraid of any team in the East, even after Miami and Philadelphia make their apparent upgrades. I see the Raptors standing pat as a move of strength, not weakness. Unless there are stars available — say, Jrue Holiday, for cheaper than expected — then Toronto ain’t doing much beyond a possible minor move based on financial fiddling. And that’s ok.

10:40 am: Per Woj and Shams both, the Knicks have hired Leon Rose of CAA to take over direction of basketball operations. His client list is extremely impressive. This also means — good news Raptors fans! — that the Masai Ujiri to New York rumours should be buried for at least another 10 minutes. Enjoy those 10 minutes.

10:28 am: Per Chris Haynes of Yahoo, the word is that Andre Drummond is unlikely to be traded. With Capela already on the move, it’s possible that the market for centers is satiated? Or the Pistons aren’t being offered what they perceive to be fair value. Either way, Drummond would have been a domino that could have started the wheels back in motion. We remain stuck in neutral for the moment.

9:51 am: The latest word is that a Raptors’ trade is unlikely:

Could there still be any trades, or are all the cards already shuffled?

9:33 am: Last year, around this time, the quiet was unbearable to me. I wrote this then:

“Still nothing. I feel like this is starting to read like the diary entries of a mad man: “We hear drums, drums in the deep. They are coming…” On another note, I’m pretty ready to report anything. Fake Woj and Shams, where you aaaat!?”

I feel much the same way now. Come on now, where’s the spice? Let’s heat this deadline up.

9:02 am: As long as you’re here, with little else going on, may as well read my piece about Toronto’s incredible comeback win over the Pacers last night. It set the franchise record, and it had some wonderful moments when Pascal Siakam played center. You can find it here.

8:52 am: Just wanted to check back in. This is still going on. There’s some rumbling out of Miami. The Heat appeared to have traded Justise Winslow to Memphis for Andre Iguodala, but the deal hasn’t been confirmed yet. The Heat want to also add Danilo Gallinari from the Thunder, which is frightening, because he’s a fantastic player, and this would be the first major domino in a possible arms race in the East. No deal has been confirmed, but Woj reports that the delay is in Miami trying to negotiate a contract extension for Gallinari.

8:00 am: Hello and welcome to trade deadline day. It’s going to be a long ride to 3 pm, so buckle up, strap in, and join me. I’ll be here, gobbling coffee and refreshing Twitter all day so that you don’t have to. There have already been some trades made, so we’ll see if there’s too much more today. Without Robert Covington, Clint Capela, and others on the market, it’s possible things are quiet. On the other hand, surprises can and usually do arise. Feel free to suggest some trades yourselves. Have a good morning, and I’ll be with you soon.


  • The always wonderful Vivek Jacobs wrote an extremely thorough investigation into whether Toronto really is a contender, and whether making a trade or standing pat is the best way to approach the championship. You can find it here.
  • RR has a few deadline primers from the wonderful Oren Weisfeld. Part one separates players into positions, as well as who might be available on the market. Part two discusses a variety of different trades, giving frameworks for what may work.

Completed trades:

  • Portland is trading Skal Labissiere and cash to Atlanta.
  • Bruno and Jordan Bell swapped!
  • A wild one: The Dubs trade D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota for Andrew Wiggins and a couple picks.
  • There’s already been a massive, four-way deal that took 12 players off the market. The Atlanta Hawks received: Clint Capela and Nene Hilario. The Denver Nuggets received: Gerald Green, Keita Bates-Diop, Noah Vonleh, Shabazz Napier, and draft considerations. The Houston Rockets received: Robert Covington, Jordan Bell, and draft considerations. The Minnesota Timberwolves received Evan Turner, Jarred Vanderbilt, Juancho Hernangomez, Malik Beasley, and draft considerations.
  • The Clips are trading Derrick Walton Jr. to the Hawks for cash.
  • Miami is trading Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters and James Johnson to Memphis for Andre Iguodala, Solomon Hill and Jae Crowder.
  • The Golden State Warriors traded Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III to the Philadelphia 76ers for three second-round picks.
  • Dallas traded a second-round draft pick and Justin Patton to Golden State for Willie Cauley-Stein.
  • Portland traded Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver, and draft considerations to Sacramento for Trevor Ariza, Caleb Swanigan, and Wenyen Gabriel.
  • Minnesota traded Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham to Atlanta for Allen Crabbe.
  • Cleveland traded Jordan Clarkson to the Utah Jazz for Dante Exum and two second-round draft picks.


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