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The Toronto Raptors are in a great position to change the future of the franchise with the fourth pick in the upcoming NBA Draft on July 29th. The decision of whether or not to keep the pick or try to leverage it in a deal is an interesting proposition, as the Raptors could try to solve more than one of their offseason needs with one blockbuster deal.
The biggest hole the Raptors need to fill this offseason is at the center position, and if we learned anything from the last offseason, it’s that help in the frontcourt is not likely going to be acquired through a free agency signing. With no real star on the roster that is looking likely to take the Raptors to the promised land as the team is currently assembled, Toronto could also use a sure bet franchise player.
There is no easy solution to both of these issues, and there’s no telling if a trade would indeed be the better route for the Raptors’ future. But of course, there will be suitors for the Raptors and their fourth pick and there are definitely a few interesting players that could be available for Toronto if they do decide to take that route.
All in for Damian Lillard?
If the Raptors want to find themselves a sure bet franchise player, Damian Lillard is that caliber of player. Despite all the loyalty Lillard has devoted to the Portland Trailblazers over the years, the rumors suggest that Lillard’s patience may be wearing thin after his lack of involvement in the team’s new head coaching hiring of Chauncey Billups. Much like the Kawhi Leonard trade, it wouldn’t be the first time the Raptors and Masai Ujiri were able to pry a disgruntled superstar from a spiralling situation.
For the Raptors to make a package enticing enough for the Blazers, there is no doubt that a combination of the fourth pick and some players like Pascal Siakam and even Fred VanVleet would have to be on the table. It’s a lot to give up but the Raptors may be one of the few teams that have enough to give up for the Blazers to consider dealing their beloved franchise player.
Wiseman, Wiggins and the Warriors
Bringing Andrew Wiggins back to his home city to play for the Raptors, while also acquiring a young big man with lots of potential in James Wiseman, is without a doubt an interesting option for the Raptors.
Ideally, the Golden State Warriors would have to include one or both of their picks in the upcoming draft at seventh and 14th. While the Raptors would likely have to give up Pascal Siakam and the 4th pick. This would be a blockbuster deal that would solve some of the Raptors’ needs while still getting draft compensation. But ultimately, it’s hard to justify that any of the players the Raptors would get in return would be of the same value as Siakam and the caliber of player they could get with the fourth pick.
Jarrett Allen sign-and-trade
The talented Cavaliers big man Jarrett Allen will enter the offseason as a restricted free agent this summer. The Raptors appear to be showing some interest in getting in the mix to sign Allen to an offer sheet that the Cavs would have a chance to match.
But the Raptors could potentially sweeten the deal by offering up the fourth pick and maybe even a player to match Allen’s new contract. As long as the Cavaliers include their third pick, which would give Toronto a chance to move up in the draft as well.
This would of course fill the Raptors big man need while also moving up a pick in the draft, although it’s hard to say what direction the Cavaliers are looking to go with their roster in such disarray at the moment.
It’s more than likely that the Raptors will end up holding onto the fourth pick in the draft as the caliber of players available at that point is likely to be very high. Whether it’s Jaylen Green, Jaylen Suggs or Jonathan Kuminga, Toronto is sure to have themselves a promising young player with a bright future. But the reality is that the Raptors need more than just one player to fix some of their roster issues, and they would be foolish to not shop their pick around and see what’s available in the trade market. If the right option presents itself, it just might be worth pulling the trigger.