5 trade targets for the Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors are a good team. But the talent gap between the Raptors and the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers is staggering. Ahead of next month’s trade deadline, here are five players that could help Toronto close that gap.


1. DeMarcus Cousins

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Cousins” by Game Face licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Sacramento Kings’ centre could very well be the third star the Raptors need to combat Cleveland’s “Big Three.” Cousins has bonded with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan on the 2016 Olympic team, and stirred up rumours through a now-deleted picture of him in Raptors shorts.

But Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri has spent the last few years creating a culture of professionalism for this Raptors organization. That culture could be spoiled by Cousins, who’s shown to be a loose cannon throughout his career.

2. Taj Gibson

Taj Gibson has never averaged more than 13 points a game in his career, but the Raptors don’t really need him as a scorer. Gibson is another reliable defender who isn’t a liability on offence. Acquiring Gibson from the Chicago Bulls would also reunite him with former USC teammate DeMar DeRozan.

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Serge Ibaka” by Keith Allison licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

3. Serge Ibaka

Toronto will appreciate Ibaka’s quality rebounding and intimidating presence on the defensive end. The Congo-native has been linked to trade rumours because of the Orlando Magic’s crowded frontcourt. It includes star Nikola Vučević and former Raptor Bismack Biyombo.

4. Jahlil Okafor

The biggest benefit of obtaining Jahlil Okafor could also be the biggest risk for the Raptors: his youth. While trading for Okafor would be a financial steal (he’s still on a rookie contract), Toronto really doesn’t know what kind of player they’ll be getting from Philadelphia in return.

5. Paul Millsap*

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Paul Millsap” by Keith Allison licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

There’s an asterisk beside Millsap’s name, because Atlanta Hawks general manager Wes Wilcox recently announced they’ve taken the 31-year-old off the trade market. Acquiring Millsap should be Toronto’s top priority when he becomes a free agent this summer, as his stats address two current holes in Toronto’s game: three-point efficiency and rebounding.


Who do you think the Toronto Raptors should trade for? Who should they offer to other teams to make a move? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Ranking the Toronto Raptors’ 5 All-Stars

The Raptors are limping into the NBA All-Star break, having lost 11 of their last 15 games. While some players will rest, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry have been chosen to play in this year’s All-Star game.

DeRozan and Lowry are not the only Raptors to be featured on the All-Star stage. Here are, in order, the top five Raptors who have made an All-Star roster.

5. Antonio Davis

The record books will always show Davis was an All-Star, even though he technically replaced Theo Ratliff in 2001. But Davis saw improvements in his game after joining the Raptors in 1999. He had 8.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in his first six seasons with Indiana, but averaged a double-double during his All-Star year in Toronto.

4. Chris Bosh

Wizards v/s Heat 03/30/11

Wizards v/s Heat 03/30/11

Former Raptor Chris Bosh has the most All-Star appearances on the list with 11. But unlike Vince Carter, the sting of Bosh’s defection to Miami is still a little too fresh to have him higher on the list.

3. Kyle Lowry

Before Kyle Lowry joined the Raptors, he never came close to being part of the All-Star conversation. Lowry’s transition to Toronto has turned him into a better player, a better leader and now a three-time All Star.

2. DeMar DeRozan

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DeMar DeRozan” by Matthew Addie licensed under CC BY 2.0

The reason DeRozan gets the edge over Lowry is his tenure with the Raptors. After re-signing with the team this past summer, DeRozan passed Vince Carter as Toronto’s all-time scoring leader. He stayed longer than Bosh or Carter, and he is only halfway through his career. He will likely top this list in a few more years.

 

1. Vince Carter

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Vince Carter Dunk” by Forex101 licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

It is hard to think of another Toronto Raptor who has as much All-Star history as “Air Canada.” Carter appeared in eight straight All-Star games between 2000 and 2008. But it was the 2000 Slam Dunk contest that immortalized Carter in All-Star history. He put Toronto on the map in the NBA world, and is the Raptors’ biggest star.

What order would you put the Toronto’s five All-Stars? Are there any other Raptors you think got an All-Star snub? Leave your comments below.