Toronto Raptors: Time to consolidate young assets?

Toronto Raptors - Delon Wright (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Delon Wright (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Without a likely superstar on the roster, do the Toronto Raptors need to try to consolidate some of their young players for a more significant asset?

Over the past four to five years the Toronto Raptors have done an excellent job of balancing both the present and the future.

Since his arrival in 2013, Team President Masai Ujiri has built a roster focused on two different timelines. The team’s starters, (Minus OG) who are currently in or just on the back-end of their primes and the bench, all of which have three years or fewer experience.

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Many teams have attempted to do something similar, but with the exception of the San Antonio Spurs, no-one has balanced the future and present better than Toronto.

Yet as great a job as Masai has done building the back-end of the roster through the draft, Toronto’s future is very dependent on one unanswered question: Who is the next star player for the Toronto Raptors?

As great as OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, and the rest of the young core have been, it’s still not clear that any of them will develop into anything more than the fourth or fifth best player on a championship team.

Without a star on the roster, and too talented to tank, is Toronto locking themselves into the 5th seed for the foreseeable future? Championship teams almost always feature a top-five player. To this point even the biggest Toronto optimist would admit that type of development is a moonshot for any current Raptor.

With no current player near or at this level, the Toronto front office needs to at least entertain the idea of consolidating the team’s assets.

 Finding a deal to consolidate

In the terms of NBA assets, four quarters doesn’t necessarily equal a dollar. This is due to bargain maximum contracts, artificially  imposed by the CBA, and a theory known as bricklayers vs gladiators. 

Considering this, it is very unlikely Toronto could trade for a surefire superstar with their current assets. Instead any deal would need to be for a draft pick or young player with the potential to develop into a star.

Next: Ranking the ceilings of Toronto's young core

Of course trading is not the only way to find a superstar. Toronto could potentially lure one in free-agency, draft one in the later rounds, or hope that a player makes an unforeseeable leap, similar to Jimmy Butler or Paul George.

These scenarios are unlikely, but not impossible. Toronto doesn’t need to consolidate their assets if the deal isn’t right, but if they have the opportunity they should.