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A Toronto Raptors Trade Deadline Roundtable

IT'S COMMMINGGGGG. A few Raptors Republicans share their thoughts on what the Heck the Raptors should do at the Trade Deadline.

Well, here we are.

The fate of humanity upon the shoulders of two wise, suave, serious men.

Within hours, all will be different. Or the same. Or something in-between.

It is…

The 2022/23 NBA Trade Deadline.

And, I must say, Kudos, to the NBA.

Forever, the League has been starkly divided between true contenders and determined tankers. A few less purposeful and foolish – here’s looking at Orlando and Washington and Sacramento in years past – sprinkled about keeping things spicy.

With draft odds flattened and the Play-In gifting hope to an additional tier of less-talented teams, there is no longer a clear and obvious path forward. (I still think the NBA should do even more to incentivize competition, but that’s another topic for another time.)

Case in point, Toronto.

In years past, being tied for 10th/11th/12th with a record of 25-30 would most certainly categorize Toronto as sellers at the trade deadline. Now, they’re only a half game back of competing in the Play-In. Translation: there’s hope.

Parity in the league has also made a five-game winning streak all the more impactful. The Raps have won two in a row. Should they tack on four more Ws, for example, they could easily find themselves upwards of 7th or 8th.

Hence, come tomorrow nothing is obvious for Toronto.

You will HEAR what Toronto should do.

Loud opinions from the rafters of Reddit or Twitter calling for an entire deconstruction of this roster. Pundits admonishing such nihilist approaches and encouraging win-now moves. Others calling for a cautious balanced approach forward. All have rationale.

It makes this week and its building anticipation all the more thrilling and torturous.

Personally, my opinion on what Toronto should do has fluctuated. I wrote (#2-#5) about what I thought I wanted last Friday. I’ve changed my mind a million times since.

My indecision prompted me to call upon Raptors Republic peers to get their thoughts and share their suffering as the fateful hours advance upon us all.

***If you need a more detailed primer on the Raptors salary situation, check out the Trade Deadline Primer from Sportsnet’s Blake Murphy.



It depends.

Two most hated words in the world of arguing.


No one wants to hear from fence sitters. But it’s true.

Yes, the Toronto Raptors have stunk. Yes, even in wins, they looked discordant and lifeless. Yes, their starters are worn. Yes, their bench is putrid. Yes, the season is almost at a loss.

But is that reason to initiate emergency measure Code S-E-L-L?

There is something foundationally wrong with this team. It’s just not so clear what it is. Like something festering in the ventilation unit. You can smell it, you just can’t source it.

Which to me, suggests the Raptors need more time to figure it out.

Toronto’s Top-6 could, collectively, fetch a King’s ransom of whatever Masai and Bobby desired. Yet, put together, they’re a sub-500 team. Go figure.

Some say it’s personnel. Others say it’s parts greater than sums. Others, perhaps, look at the coaching.

All I’m saying is, to trade because of it, is to act rashly.

Toronto was a Scottie injury away from taking it to Philly last year in the playoffs. Eight weeks ago this team was ready to acquire Jakob Pöltl and make another run.

Otto Porter Jr. is healthy and someone, ANYONE, from this bench surpasses expectations, and I don’t think this team is as odious as most fans now feel.

So, I’m tempted to sit on what this team has. Barring individual unhappiness (re: “I won’t resign here” or “Trade me” vibes), I’m not so sure this team is past its Best Before Date.

Not to mention, come the offseason, trades will still be very available.

I guess…I’m closing up shop…AKA doin’ nada.




We are a bad-to-mid basketball team that, I think, has run its course.

I’m guessing we saw about what the peak of this team looks like last year with the core players we have. Unfortunately, I don’t think an Otto Porter Jr. healthy toe is moving the needle that much either.

Would love to get some young guys to pack around Scottie, Gary, and Precious in a trade. I think I would be happy with any trade that didn’t result in Ben Simmons applying for a Canadian workers visa [Editor’s Note: BURN!].


I’m not ideologically committed.

Call me a fence-sitter [Editor’s note: who woulda guessed we’d have two fence-sitters?], but I can see all three options being feasible depending on the possibilities. I don’t want the Raptors to offload salary just because, and I don’t want them to close up shop unless the stars truly land massive hauls.

I’m probably most inclined to a mixture of buying and selling, just to balance out the roster a little bit, but I don’t think a Gary Trent jr.-Jakob Poeltl, for example, fixes this team. 


I’m selling, as long as my customers have a high credit limit.

The trade value of OG and Pascal has never been higher in either of their careers. If there’s a deal out there for either of those guys that nets the Raptors three unprotected 1st round picks from a team with a stupid owner/GM (I’m looking at you, James Dolan) or a young player with a really high ceiling, Toronto needs to look long and hard at it.

Don’t forget that two years ago the Tampa Bay version of Siakam was giving Raptors fans nightmares and had no trade value. Maximizing the value of an asset might be better for the future of this team than fighting for a playoff spot.



As you can tell, I’m terribly indecisive. I’m buying, selling, and staying put. You CAN’T STOP ME FROM NOT CHOOSING.

If I’m buying, it’s because of two specific issues.

“Something is missing” is the first. You can feel it when you watch. Cohesion at both ends has disintegrated. On D, a team defence that once ensnared teams a year ago is now a sieve. Poor rotations, low morale, and pure exhaustion has gutted Toronto’s raucous defensive scheme. Or, teams have just figured it out.

On O, the team seldom goes an entire game where everyone’s on the same page. Will Lou noted it recently on his 10 Things. Their individualism has a cut-off-the-nose-to-spite-the-face vibe. One guy’s success at the expense of others.

So, Toronto needs someone to unite this team. At both ends. What a task.

They also need a bench. More depth, less fatigue. Less fatigue, better play. Better play, more happiness. More happiness, better play. Better play, more happiness and so on.

Trading Boucher strikes the balance. He’s is one of the few unfazed by what goes down. Bailing this team out with a bottomless source of hustle. He is the bench.

That said, the Raptors need to diversify and Boucher is redundant to the trio of Precious, Koloko, and Thad/Khem. If we’re not touching the core, he’s the next guy.



TORONTO RAPTORS: Amir Coffey, Robert Covington + 2026 2nd Round pick


I know it’s not thrilling, but remember, we’re looking for depth and “cohesion”. Amir Coffey has the potential to blossom as a bench scorer. He’s buried in LA amongst a plethora of veteran wings and guards. In Toronto, he will have ample opportunity to get up shots. In 2021, when the Clips shut down the season, Coffey averaged 27 minutes, 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 turnover on 56 effective field goal percentage and a 15% usage rate. Sound and efficient. Coffey is on a very friendly deal should things not work out.

Covington’s best trait, despite his age, is his team defence. He requires zero usage and, while not shooting as well from three this year, can reliably space the floor (he was 45% on five attempts last year). Covington is also on a workable contract, getting paid about the same as Boucher, but expiring a year earlier in 2024/25.

Ideally, one more move for a guard – I have my eye on Oklahoma City Thunder’s Tre Mann who might be the odd man out there – and tha boys are cookin’!


The Clippers, in turn, consolidate lesser-played guys for a tireless hustler who requires minimal usage. Most importantly, Boucher can play quite comfortably alongside big man, Ivica Zubac, or plug into the Clippers 5-out offence giving some size on the defensive end.


If I’m a buyer, I think the Pacers have the most to offer Toronto, and they also have the most need for a player like O.G. Anunoby.


INDIANA PACERS: O.G. Anunoby + Salary Filler

TORONTO RAPTORS: Buddy Hield + Myles Turner + Draft Capital

A framework of something like this (plus perhaps Trent and Boucher, to make salaries work) would, I think, improve the Raptors in the short-term, at least, while addressing to some extent the tax crunch coming up.

I wrote about a potential Hield acquisition here and a Turner addition here. If the Pacers tossed in a first-round pick or two, then Toronto could be cooking with gas in improving in the short- and long-term while also addressing the finances.



On Friday, I chose Freddy as the guy to trade. This time around I’ll choose O.G. Anunoby.

Not because I want to, to be clear, but because I am assuming he’s ready to move on. Side note: if I’m trading O.G. Anunoby, I’m also trading Freddy. If we’re going to retool, let’s do it hard and fast.

My favourite trade is O.G. to New Orleans. We’ve seen many renditions, including a great back and forth by Eric Koreen and Will Guillory, beat writer for the New Orleans Pelicans, of The Athletic. (Getting one of Herb Jones or Dyson Daniels plus picks is optimal value.) I’ll try for original.

One rule is O.G. has to be traded to the west. I’m not battling him for the next five years. I refuse.


SACRAMENTO KINGS: O.G. Anunoby, Malachi Flynn

TORONTO RAPTORS: Keegan Murray, Davion Mitchell, Alex Len, 2026 1st Round pick (with protections)


***Of course, as I’m writing this Sacramento trades for a wing. It’s not like Kessler Edwards is a game-changer, but they might be happy with what they have.***

Before you object to acquiring another undersized point guard, remember, I’m trading Freddy too in this scenario. I think.

Mitchell, while extremely offensively-challenged at the moment, is a hellhound on defence, who over time can grow into [crossing fingers] a reliable shooter. Even without, it’s still a win. In Mitchell, Toronto acquires a sophomore on a rookie contract, a reliable perimeter defender, and, perhaps most importantly, a greater solidification of Toronto’s offensive hierarchy.

Speaking of, the real catch is Murray. He might be a bit redundant with Pascal, Scottie, and Precious, as Murray is not as lithe or athletic as O.G. is and may struggle at the 3 spot. But he also can fit with any one of them on the offensive end seamlessly. Murray already plays alongside Domantas Sabonis and Harrison Barnes, both of whom lean closer to the 4 than they do the 5 or 3 respectively. The Kings defence suffers because of it, but their offence thrives.

Murray is already a +40% three-point shooter and scores 12 a game on a low usage and high effective field goal percentage. For Toronto, he can come off the bench with the opportunity to grow into a more versatile scorer, like he was in college, or close games as a major floor spacer with a Masai-dream team of Scottie, Gary, Pascal, Keegan, Precious. A future Kings pick is always a nice cherry on top.


O.G. is perfect for the Kings. They’re desperate for defence – 23rd in defensive rating – and even more desperate to make a Playoff run. The Kings would remain small with Sabonis at centre, but O.G. makes teams “bigger” with his might. He becomes the Kings’ default defender of opposing best non-big players freeing Barnes to defend a player more his size and speed and alleviating some of the stress put on Sabonis at the rim.

O.G. maintains the spacing Murray provides them on the offensive end while being a bit better of a downhill threat (can’t believe I’m saying that). For O.G., in a faster, more fluid, better passing offence, he should have an easier time creating for himself. He will definitely have a greater shot selection presented to him than he did in Toronto and find many an open avenue to the rim.


Apparently some team (cough, the Knicks, cough) offered three first-round picks for Anunoby?

Let’s start there and see if the Raps could add any other goodies. Toronto’s own first-rounder this year is probably the most valuable pick the Raptors are going to land (barring a Siakam trade, which would be a true teardown, not just selling), and trading Anunoby for just picks (and salary to match) would boost the value of that pick, as well.



TORONTO RAPTORS: Evan Fournier, three first-round picks.

I don’t love it, and I don’t think the Raptors should do it, but that’s the best I got for a selling trade that’s not a teardown [Editor’s Note: Something tells me Lou doesn’t like trade talks].




TORONTO RAPTORS: Evan Fournier, 2 unprotected first-round picks (2025 & 2027) and a pick swap in 2029.

Call it in.

3. What Do You Think Masai and Bobby Do?


Thursday, February 9th – Trade Deadline:

  1. 12:01 PM ET – 2 hours and 59 minutes prior to the deadline: Masai and Bobby turn their phones off.
  2. 12:02 PM ET – 2 hours and 58 minutes prior to the deadline: Masai and Bobby fly to Las Vegas to orchestrate and execute a casino heist of hundreds of million dollars. Their entourage includes an assortment of NBA professionals including: Acrobat Mugsy Bogues, Demolition Expert Junkyard Dog, Con Man Hedo Türkoğlu, among others
  3. 2:57 PM ET – 3 minutes prior to the deadline: Masai and Bobby turn their phones on.
  4. 2:58 PM ET – 2 minutes prior to the deadline: Masai and Bobby send texts to the cell phones of every GM in the NBA stating, “After further considerations, we will not be pursuing any trades at this time.”
  5. 3:15 PM ET – 15 minutes after the deadline: Masai and Bobby hit an A&W drive thru.
  6. 3:35 PM ET – 35 minutes after the deadline: Masai and Bobby smoke a blunt.
  7. 3:37 PM ET – 37 minutes after the deadline: Masai and Bobby crush a Momma burger, onion rings, and a root beer and watch the chaos unfold.


At this point I don’t know if they do much more than Drake does for the franchise [Editor’s Note: WOW! hawttt take]. The big difference: they have to be in their office at OVO for 5 to 6 hours a day [Editor’s Note: ya, screw Drake.] 


I expect a mixture of buying and selling. I doubt a teardown is on the horizon, simply because it would require a lot of different pieces to click together at the same time.

I don’t think a half measure of trading, say, just Trent would avert the luxury tax bill that’s coming. But finding huge hauls for Anunoby, Trent, VanVleet, and Siakam would be extraordinarily difficult – trading Anunoby would take one suitor off the table for Siakam, and vice versa.

[Editor’s Note: Winnie the Pooh with the cautious take]


Since taking over as the Raptors’ President of Basketball Operations in 2013, Masai Ujiri has never lost a trade [Editor’s Note: The Thaddeus Young trade is, officially, debatable]. The trust I have in him to make the right decision is unparalleled.

I think Masai and Bobby want to raise the ceiling for the long-term success of this team and will move anyone not named Scottie to do so. But, if they can’t get what they believe our players are worth in return, they won’t budge. We only make a trade if we win that trade – I think that’s still their mentality.

4. Give Me One Wild Toronto Raptor or NBA Prediction


Minnesota bails on Rudy Gobert. Phoenix bails on DeAndre Ayton.


PHOENIX SUNS: Rudy Gobert, Jaden McDaniels


The Suns get a rim-runner and defensive anchor alongside a young, versatile wing. The Wolves get younger and find a better accompaniment to Karl Anthony-Towns with Cam Johnson providing additional spacing.


Minnesota Timberwolves to the Conference finals. Dallas Mavericks bounced in the second. [Editor’s Note: lol.]


The Denver Nuggets win the NBA championship. Thought you’d get a trade prediction? Too bad, I like hoops much, much more than transactions. [Editor’s note: Rude.]


Masai Ujiri continues his reign as the league’s top basketball Jedi.


BROOKLYN NETS: O.G. Anunoby, Gary Trent, and first-round pick


It would be such an incredible f**k you move from the best executive in the NBA.

See more F*** You Brooklyn Moments