We are ALMOST there, Raptors fans. It feels like we have been crawling to the trade deadline since we all woke up on December 30th to the news that Toronto had made it’s first big trade.
Now, Thursday’s 3pm deadline is just days away. We won’t stall any longer, let’s go over the Raptors’ situation heading into this final week of trade slop.
What Toronto has Already Done
In case you’re just landing back in Canada after a six week, internet-less retreat in nature — welcome back! The Raptors are virtually unrecognizable.
Here are all the moves Toronto has made in chronological order:
December 30th - Knicks:
Toronto traded O.G. Anunoby, Malachi Flynn, and Precious Achiuwa to the New York Knicks in exchange for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and a 2024 second-round pick.
We all cried for about 48 hours until we realized that this trade worked out for both sides quite well. Barrett and Quickley have seamlessly transitioned into the Raptors new vision.
January 17th - Pacers:
The other shoe dropped less than three weeks later. Toronto traded Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Bruce Brown, Jordan Nwora, Kira Lewis Jr., and three first-round draft picks.
Two of those first round picks are for 2024, with the third for 2026.
The cries of Raptors fans can still be heard around the city even weeks after the trade happened. Unfortunately necessary, but still heartbreaking. More heartbreaking? Siakam makes his return to Toronto with the Pacers on Valentine’s Day.
Single on Valentine’s Day? Have your heart broken further by coming to Scotiabank Arena to see the return of Pascal Siakam. Single-seats on sale now https://t.co/ozWFNBSUMJ— chelsea leite (@chelsealeite) January 17, 2024
Who is Available for Trade
If your name is Scottie Barnes, Immanuel Quickley, or RJ Barrett — congrats! You’re safe this time.
Anyone else, don’t make any plans past Thursday, as you could be traded before then.
Who Might Actually Be Traded
The top name that comes to mind is Bruce Brown.
Yes, despite arriving to Toronto mere weeks ago, as well as forking up $10K to take his jersey number from Jontay Porter, Brown may be headed back out.
Our pal Bruce is an excellent role player, as displayed by his performance in the 2023 NBA Championship run of the Denver Nuggets. Contending teams are extremely interested in that depth as they head into the playoffs, and injuries become more frequent.
According to Marc Stein last week, The Raptors are in search of a first-round pick and a decent player in exchange for 27-year-old Bruce Brown. If we are speculating on the trends of the Raptors’ returns this season, they will probably want someone young and promising.
Monday morning, Adrian Wojnarowski had Bobby Marks on his podcast, and the two spoke about the possibility of Toronto moving Brown.
ESPN Front Office Insider @BobbyMarks42 joins The Woj Pod for trade deadline week Day 1 installment including reaction to Joel Embiid knee procedure, the Lakers trade options, Dejounte Murray, buyers/sellers, much more.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 5, 2024
According to them, both the New York Knicks and LA Lakers are interested in Bruce Brown. The Lakers had tried to get Brown in free agency, but failed as Indiana offered him more money. Then, they tried to trade with Indiana for him, but he was sent to Toronto instead.
Now, the Lakers will attempt again to get Brown on their team.
They’ll have to outdo the Knicks, and give Masai Ujiri what he wants for him, though. Ujiri could easily keep Brown for the rest of the season and try to deal him closer to the draft as well.
Others Being Thrown into Talks
While the Bruce Brown speculation is coming from real sources, everyone else on the Raptors roster is really just available throw-in material.
You think about how Gary Trent Jr will be a hot free agent this summer, or how Chris Boucher seems to be a lingering member of the previous Raptors’ era. Otto Porter Jr. has also been seemingly absent from Raptors lineups.
With the Raptors not exactly making a run at the playoffs this year, any of these guys could end up being parts of trades this week.
It’ll Be Over Soon...
It seriously feels like this Raptors have been in trade mode for MONTHS. In reality it’s been six weeks. Either way, everyone is going to collectively sigh in relief at 3pm on Thursday when we can go back to just focusing on the game.
Us after six weeks of the Raptors constantly being the main characters of NBA Trade Season: pic.twitter.com/P9QqPtGHVO— Raptors HQ (@RaptorsHQ) February 5, 2024
The players seem to think so too, as games this week have been... wonky to say the least. Friday’s effortless loss to the Houston Rockets showed a team that seems to be losing steam with a third of the season still to play. Sunday’s double overtime loss to OKC was more entertaining, but still disappointing to not get the W .
You can’t say the team doesn’t have a vision, though. That vision will be solidified further once all the final moves are completed this week.