Toronto Raptors: Washington Wizards are the best trade fit

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 29: Kelly Oubre Jr. /

The Toronto Raptors have been the subject of many trade rumors. Interestingly, their best trade partner might be their most unlikely.

When the Cleveland Cavaliers traded Kyrie Irving to one of their main Eastern Conference challengers, the Boston Celtics, it sent shock waves throughout the league.  Contending teams typically do not trade with one another and contenders never trade within the same conference.

The two teams’ willingness to trade with one another undoubtedly hurt the Toronto Raptors. Both teams atop the conference made the best move available, improving themselves in whatever way possible.

Would the Raptors be willing to make a similar deal? If they are, the best fit for a trade might just be their Eastern Conference rival, the Washington Wizards.

The Wizards are extremely talented, particularly their top six rotation players. The Wizards starting five has a net-rating of +6.0, which, as a team, would rank 4th in the NBA. Substitute sixth-man Kelly Oubre for Markieff Morris and the team is even better, blitzing opponents by an absurd 20.4 per possessions!

Otto Porter defends Toronto buzzer beater
TORONTO, ON- NOVEMBER 19 – Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) launches a shot over Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) as the Toronto Raptors play the Washington Wizards at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. November 19, 2017. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

What the Wizards don’t have is depth. Coach Scott Brooks is relying on consistent minutes from the likes of Tomas Satoransky, Jodie Meeks, and Tim Frazier.

The result is a Wizards bench that is being killed by opponents. According to, the Wizards have outscored opponents by +138 when Wall and Beal have shared the court together. The rest of the time the Wizards have actually been outscored by 54.

The Raptors, on the other hand, have a roster filled with depth. The Raptors currently have 12 rotation players who have appeared in 16 or more games and are averaging at least 10 minutes per game. These players are real contributors and all 12 could contribute on nearly any team. As of now, the Raptors 12th man is Norman Powell, someone who was a starter to begin the season.

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What the Raptors do need is a starting small-forward. OG Anunoby has been great. His defense and three-point shooting have been critical for the Raptors this season, and as his knee continues to heal there is hope he will become even more explosive finishing around the basket.

But he is still a rookie. Contenders need to be wary relying on any rookie, particularly one who’s shooting has regressed as of late.

The Wizards, however, have two small-forwards who are more than capable of starting. Earlier this season, the injury of Markieff Morris thrust Kelly Oubre into a starting role. During that time, Oubre thrived proving that he, along with Otto Porter, are both starting-caliber level players.

It’s still not clear if the Wizards are willing to deal either Oubre or Porter. Perhaps, Washington is happy with their core and believe smaller tweaks around the edges of the roster will be enough.

Still, the frame-work for a deal is there. If the Raptors have the inclination and the Wizards are willing, a move between the two parties could help everybody involved.