5 Raptors Trades For Christmas

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Dec 21, 2015; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris (11) sits the bench in the final second of their 110-89 loss to the Utah Jazz at vivint.SmartHome Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

1. Ross, Johnson and Patterson for Morris, Tucker and Weems (Suns)

The first trade of Christmas, Masai Ujiri gave to me…

Christmas jokes aside, the first trade to look at would be one I previously covered in an article I wrote on Terrence Ross a while back. However, much has changed since then.

Ross has emerged as, dare I say, a consistent contributor for Dwane Casey’s ball club over the last few games, especially in the wake of DeMarre Carroll’s absence (he suffered a knee injury against Golden State and hasn’t played since December 7th). In that time, Ross has started in 7 of 9 games, scored 10 or more points in 6 of them, and 20-plus points just once. Even more impressive is the fact that the Raptors are 6-3 in that stretch and 5-2 when Ross starts. That can only increase his trade stock down the line, which is a good thing.

Which brings us to the Phoenix Suns. They look like a hot mess right now, having lost 3 games in a row and Markieff Morris serving a two-game suspension for literally throwing in the towel… at Head Coach Jeff Hornacek (as reported by William Lou of TheScore.com). It’s starting to look like Morris could be on the outs from the Desert, and the Raptors should take full advantage.

The Deal:

This trade does a lot for both teams. First, it rids the Suns of the distraction known as Markieff Morris, who has been disgruntled with the organization since this past offseason when they traded his twin brother Marcus to Detroit. Toronto will assume the risk gladly, as Markieff is a talented low post scorer and defender, and can stretch the defense with the 3 ball.

Secondly, it gives Ross a fresh start in a system that’s best suited for his style of play. Make no mistake, for as much as I give Ross flack, I actually don’t want to see him traded (memories of Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and Chris Bosh come to mind). However, for where the Raptors are going, he just isn’t the best fit for the team, and hasn’t proven that he can maintain his consistency… Yet.

More importantly, it gives Phoenix a chance to breathe new life into their ball club with three new faces, allows Toronto to galvanize their defense with Morris and Tucker, and reunites Sonny Weems with his long time friend, DeMar DeRozan.

Next: 2. The Trade People Would Like, But Won't Likely Happen