Toronto Raptors Mailbag: Ibaka trades, DeMar sitting, and more

Toronto Raptors - Serge Ibaka (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Serge Ibaka (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /

On Friday we answer your guys’ best mailbag questions. Will the Toronto Raptors move on from Serge Ibaka? Why did Coach Casey  sit DeMar? And more.

Dylan Mckee/ @dylanraym – do you see us being logical and trying to move any combination of ibaka, powell, and delon in order to resign fred, let siakam start, and restock our lost draft picks?

Well for starters, trading either player only makes sense if you receive a quality return. However, I do believe there is a chance one/both players get dealt.

For Serge Ibaka, I will cover this more in a later question, but getting off his deal might be harder than expected.

Regarding Delon Wright, next season he will still be on his rookie deal, meaning his contract will have little to no impact on the Raptors ability to bring back Fred VanVleet. However, with VanVleet as the team’s backup point guard, it is fair to question his need. In January, I published a list ranking the Raptors’ roster trade value. At that time, and still, his value is one of the highest on the roster. If a team blows Toronto’s mind with an offer, you could see Delon dealt, but more likely he will return in his same role for next season.

goofy footed/ @jasonhindle – Why did we change our objective to blow people out?

Toronto certainly is not playing as well as they were just one month ago. This likely is a result of a team that is less motivated to playing winning basketball. With only a handful of games remaining in the season, the Raptors have all but clinched the one-seed and are looking uninterested.

That is okay. Cleveland has repeatedly done this for stretches and still made the NBA finals. To be frank, the NBA season is too long and boredom is going to set in with almost any team that is atop the conference. Expect the Raptors to crank up the intensity here soon.

Standard paint/ @standard paint – Think there is any way possible that we can move on from Ibaka’s contract this off-season?

Many fans want to move on from Serge due to his large contract. However, in next year’s climate, getting off cap-space might be the hardest it’s ever been. With only a handful of teams having cap space, none of which are contenders, trading Ibaka will likely involve receiving a large contract in return. At some point it feels like making a move to make a move, expect Ibaka to be back unless General Manager Masai Ujiri gets creative.

Greg Pony /@gregpony614 – Coach Casey elected to sit DeMar DeRozan in crunch time against the Nugets (We will assume he meant Nuggets). Do you think he would try something similar in the playoffs?

understand  the point Coach Casey was making when he elected to sit DeRozan for the final-stretch against the Denver Nuggets, but I still don’t agree with it.

DeMar is a star player, and as humble as he may seem, almost all-star players have some ego (Most need it in order to survive). To sit your best player in a game that will likely have no impact on the final standings seems unnecessary. Not to mention, DeRozan is this team’s best player and is good enough to close games no matter how poorly he had played prior to that point.

Coach Casey is an excellent coach, likely the coach of the year, and certainly doesn’t need to take pointers from outsiders, but I still think he got the decision wrong here.

Next: Last week's mailbag

If you would like your questions to be answered next week, comment below or tweet @raptorsrapture using the hashtag #rapturemailbag