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Raptors' 2024 Deadline Drama: Who's Safe, Who's on Thin Ice?

Published January 24, 2024 at 12:22

Certainly, it's time to delve into the uncomfortable yet integral aspect of NBA discussions – treating individuals as trade assets. As we approach the trade deadline, it's paramount to reflect on the composition of the Raptors' roster, especially considering the significant OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam transactions.

Unlike previous years, this deadline appears less intricate for the Raptors, having completed major deals. The team's focus now lies in the long-term perspective, aiming to accumulate future assets and extract optimal value from players not integral to their future plans.

To guide through this process, each player has been categorized based on the scenario in which they are most likely to be traded.

Potential Returns on Sale:

Bruce Brown (2 years, $45 million left; club option for 2024-25; UFA in 2025)
Gary Trent Jr. (1 year, $18.6 million left; UFA in 2024)
Dennis Schröder (2 years, $25.4 million left; UFA in 2025)
Chris Boucher (2 years, $22.6 million left; UFA in 2025)
Jakob Poeltl (4 years, $78 million left; player option for 2026-27; UFA in 2027)

Concerns arise about labeling Poeltl as "untouchable," as while unlikely to be traded, his value as a defensive asset for the Raptors is evident. The center market is limited, especially for a player with substantial guaranteed money left. Designating him as "untouchable" implies shutting down discussions, which seems impractical.

Considering the recently-traded-player rule, Brown, with contract flexibility, is the most probable for a trade. Valuable to the Raptors and potentially appealing to a contending team impacted by the new CBA, Brown could be traded before the deadline. Besides Poeltl, Brown is the only one with potential for a significant trade return.

Determining Schröder and Trent's placement was challenging. Schröder, with a defined role, may bring more in a trade, but Trent's expiring contract makes him slightly more likely to move.

Concerning Boucher, acquiring a meaningful pick or player seems challenging. Avoidance of trading draft picks to alleviate a contract aligns with the cautionary tale of Detroit's dealings with Marvin Bagley III. Colleagues' discussions on the Pistons' cap space may hold relevance to the situation.


Scottie Barnes (2 years, $18.1 million left; RFA in 2025): Raptors won't trade him; expected to sign a max-value extension.


RJ Barrett (4 years, $107 million left; UFA in 2027)
Gradey Dick (4 years, $21.4 million left; club options for 2025-26 and 2026-27; RFA in 2027)
Immanuel Quickley (1 year, $4.1 million left; RFA in 2024)
Jordan Nwora (1 year, $3 million left; UFA in 2024)
Kira Lewis Jr. (1 year, $5.7 million left; RFA in 2024)

Recent additions Barrett and Quickley, aligning with Barnes' trajectory, are essentially untouchable, as they cannot be traded alongside other players due to recent acquisitions. While technically movable, a trade involving them is highly unlikely.

Nwora and Lewis, included due to the traded-player rule, are even less probable to be traded, given their limited individual trade value. Lewis, although listed as a restricted free agent, might become unrestricted in July if the Raptors don't extend a qualifying offer. Dick, despite a challenging start, holds a unique financial position, as he can be combined with other salaries in a trade, making the Raptors hesitant to trade the 2023 lottery pick in this phase of team-building.

In financial terms, Dick stands apart in this group as he can be bundled with other outgoing salaries in a trade. Despite a challenging start to the season, the Raptors are not inclined to trade a lottery pick from 2023 at this stage of their team-building, explaining the "aggressively weird" aspect.

The trade deadline is on the horizon, and our anticipation builds for the Raptors' next strategic move.

Source : The Athletic
January 24   |   83 answers
Raptors' 2024 Deadline Drama: Who's Safe, Who's on Thin Ice?

Who is the most likely to be traded?

Bruce Brown3845.8 %
Gary Trent1922.9 %
Chris Boucher1518.1 %
Jakob Poeltl1113.3 %
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