Worst-case scenario for the Raptors’ 2023 NBA trade deadline

January 24, 2023

The Toronto Raptors season has been a complete disaster. The squad was predicted to be a potential postseason contender this season, but it has since disintegrated. Even if Pascal Siakam is enjoying a fantastic season, it hasn’t made any difference. They are 1.5 games out of a Play-In berth, which seems pointless.


Due to the Raptors’ lack of success this season, numerous front offices and fans have begun to make trade rumors. Let’s consider the worst-case scenario that Toronto might encounter as the trade deadline draws near.


The Raptors’ indecisiveness


The Raptors’ failure to act during the trade deadline would be the worst-case scenario. At this point, the Raptors have two options: either they commit their entire future to this squad or deal away crucial players. OR they might detonate it right away, trade everyone they can, and gather resources for the future.


This Raptors roster has inherent problems, some of which are intentional. Masai Ujiri wanted a roster full of versatile players who could make plays for themselves and be troublesome on defense. That mold is filled by Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and Scottie Barnes, who all possess many wings that meet that description. Since their guard rotation was ignored entirely, they may have taken this experiment too far.


Masai Ujiri must use his resources to make transactions that strengthen the team’s core if he trusts this roster. However, Toronto’s most sensible course of action is to blow it up and trade their guys for lots of draft money. They might consider maintaining Siakam or Barnes as the team’s star players. However, competing clubs should be willing to pay a fair price for everyone else in a deal.


The Raptors will be doomed to NBA purgatory if they don’t make a move by the trade deadline and let this season go on. This team is too familiar with the agony of not being good enough to challenge for a title yet not being terrible enough to be selected in the lottery. Giving this team direction for this season and the future will depend on the decision they make at the trade deadline, whether to blow it up or go all in.


Double, Triple, and Down


The Raptors may try to trade for players to bolster their roster if they believe this season is worthwhile. After having a difficult start to the year, Scottie Barnes is now performing at his previous level. This lineup’s guiding light is Pascal Siakam, performing at an All-Star and All-NBA level this season. Adding a handful of players would significantly increase this team’s chances of earning a play-in or even an outright playoff position.


But the Raptors must exercise caution while making deadline trades. It should be simple to address because of how brutally clear their roster issues are. Since they need more guards, Fred VanVleet and other essential players must play many minutes. The bench unit is hit-or-miss, partly because that lineup lacks a clear playmaker.


For the Raptors, finding the ideal targets to address these problems is crucial. They must refrain from trading away valuable resources for subpar talent, as doing so would only worsen matters.


The raptors demand too much.


Masai Ujiri is considered one of the NBA’s top trade brokers in the present day. The Raptor’s front staff has done a fantastic job executing moves that, for the most part, have benefited the team. However, there is concern that Toronto may place excessive value on its players compared to other groups.


This resembles our opening statement regarding the Raptors’ lack of activity at the trade deadline. However, in this fictitious situation, Toronto might not receive high-selection picks since the front management argued for extra choices. The asking costs for some of their top players have already been revealed, and they are pretty high.


The front office of the Raptors needs to know when a good opportunity presents itself and act quickly. They would want to avoid being stuck holding onto players they are eager to trade. We’ll watch how Toronto handles this challenging part of their season.

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