Trailblazers And Raptors Trade Rumors – As NBA free-agency starts this week, one is for certain. A lot of players will be on the move across the league, and some moves may change the landscape of the NBA. With the NBA Draft in the rearview mirror, some teams may have tougher tasks regarding which players to keep or trade.
WHAT WILL THE TORONTO RAPTORS DO?
Just two years later, the Toronto Raptors secured their first title in franchise history; however, Kawhi Leonard decided to take his talents to the west coast, Los Angeles Clippers. Fast forward two years, the Toronto Raptors landed in the lottery, taking forward Scottie Barnes out of Florida State with the 4th pick in this draft.
With their star point guard entering free agency and unlikely to re-sign with the Raptors, Jalen Suggs seemed like the option to take. It was odd when the Raptors didn’t trade Lowry for draft picks or other assets at the trade deadline as a couple of contenders were interested in trading for the star.
The Miami Heat declined Andre Iguodala’s team option, making him an unrestricted free agent. However, the Heat picked up Goran Dragic’s team option. The team may use his contract to negotiate a sign-and-trade to land Kyle Lowry.
That could be one way to get some future draft compensations that will most likely be from 2023 and beyond. There are other routes the Raptors can take if Fred VanVleet mainly plays the port guard position.
With Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakiam the only players making 20 million dollars+ next season, the Raptors may look to trade forward Pascal Siakam to fill the void with Barnes sliding into the forward position. One team in mind could get involved as this team in the West could make some changes this offseason.
WILL THE PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS MAKE A TRADE THIS OFFSEASON
There is no denying that the Portland Trail Blazers are a very solid team in the loaded Western Conference. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are sometimes overlooked but represent the gold standard when it comes to scoring, shooting, dishing the ball, and forcing turnovers. Sadly, the team bounced in the first round of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons after making it to the Conference Finals in 2019.
Damian Lillard is very dedicated to the organization and was rejecting all sorts of rumors regarding wanting to be dealt in the offseason. Even though allegations were surrounding the new Head Coach, Chauncey Billups, Damian Lillard is focused on bringing the franchise its first title since 1977.
“Now ask yourself that same question about me. I’ve been transparent for a decade…I never denied where I stood following the season… don’t loop me in becuz of the state of the game right now. What you are reporting is simply not the facts bro. I’m the ultimate source.”
With Norman Powell declining his player option and Carmelo Anthony potentially leaving to join his friend LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers, the Trail Blazers need to upgrade their roster to keep Lillard in their long-term plans. CJ McCollum is the best trade piece to try and make the team better.
The Toronto Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers have been engaged in trade talks involving the two players. The Raptors may also lose Gary Trent Jr. as he is seeking 18 to 20 million dollars a season.
A shooting guard and another ball-handler like McCollum would be the perfect fit. The Raptors have also been rumored to be interested in signing RFA center Jarrett Allen, but the Cleveland Cavaliers can match any offer sheet.
POTENTIAL TRADE AND NEW STARTING FIVES
Trail Blazers receive: Pascal Siakam, Aron Baynes, and Malachi Flynn, and 2023 second-round pick
Raptors receive: CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic
The potential starting five for both teams next season:
- C: Jusuf Nurkic
- PF: OG Anunoby
- SF: Scottie Barnes
- SG: CJ McCollum
- PG: Fred VanVleet
The Raptors have a true scorer who will be the focal point for the offense in CJ McCollum. When Damian Lillard was injured for some time, McCollum stepped up big time by helping the team stay in games and winning.
Jusuf Nurkic will also be an upgrade over Aron Baynes who is an offensive threat in the post. The Raptors can also go big at times with Nurkic and Chris Boucher manning the frontcourt.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
- C: Aron Baynes
- PF: Pascal Siakam
- SF: Robert Covington
- SG: Norman Powell (FA)
- PG: Damian Lillard
The Portland Trail Blazers could go after players like Evan Fournier or Tim Hardway Jr. if Norman Powell does not re-sign with the team. The team could also go after players like Javale Mcgee, Dwight Howard, or Nerlens Noel in free agency to come off the bench for defensive purposes.
The Achilles Heel for this team last season was on the defensive end of the court despite bringing in both Robert Covington and Derrick Jones Jr. The team was ranked 29th in defensive rating and 25th in opponent FG%. Pascal Siakam’s three-point percentage took a hit this past season, but he can still put up points while being an elite wing defender.