The Raptors players may be looking forward to tonight's game against Minnesota and the party that is All-Star Weekend, but Raptors management is trying to make moves.
As reported by ESPN's Brian Windhorst today on TSN Drive with Dave Naylor and Derek Taylor, the Raptors are apparently getting very aggressive on the trade market. Windhorst mentioned some names that we've heard before -- Markieff Morris (written about here) and Kenneth Faried (see every comment thread on this site, ever) -- but then also mentioned the Nets' Thad Young. Windhorst also asserted that the Raptors should look to go all-in now, citing the Cavs weird psyche and injury potential and the fact that this may be the best version of Kyle Lowry ever. It's hard to argue with the logic, even if it is still difficult to envision the Raps beating the Cavs four times out of seven.
Thad Young, for his part, has been stuck in some bad situations in his career. Right now he's wasting away on a hopeless Nets team that should definitely look to trade him to recoup a draft pick (any draft pick). He's currently putting up averages of 15.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.5 steals. Young is also shooting a tidy 51 percent from the field, and while his three point shooting has taken a huge dip (down to 22 percent) he has shot above 30 percent for stretches of his career.
For the Raptors, Young would represent yet another option at power forward to presumably liven the team's starting unit and provide even more defensive flexibility. The question, as always, is what do the Raptors have to give up to get him?
Young is in the first year of a four year deal worth $50 million, so any deal would have to include, presumably, Patrick Patterson and James Johnson to make the salaries work. Now, a deal including Patterson would weaken the team's "stretch 4" capabilities and not exactly solve the team's weakness at PF. Windhorst also doesn't believe the Raps should give up that Knicks draft pick unless a blockbuster deal is in the offing. As such, the team may have to consider including one of their young guys (Delon Wright? Norman Powell?) in the offer. This could be a lot to ask for a non-stretch power forward.
On the flip side, a starting lineup that featured Young at the four instead of Luis Scola would suddenly be a legitimate defensive terror (assuming a healthy DeMarre Carroll). And if you're looking ahead to playing LeBron James in the playoffs, you can do worse than a combo of Young and Carroll to sap his strength.
What do you guys think?