Can the Toronto Raptors afford to stand pat at the deadline?

Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Around the NBA, teams are looking to make a trade before the deadline. If there is nothing that works for the Toronto Raptors, can they still find success?

The Toronto Raptors have been at or near the top of the league standings all season. Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster constructed the roster for a long run through the playoffs. They are constantly working to achieve their common goal, competing for basketball’s highest prize, The Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.

The Raptors are hopeful that they could improve their team prior to the February 7, NBA trade deadline. Doing so won’t be easy. There are a number of factors that may impede them from finding the right pieces. It is a real possibility that the Raptors do not make any trades. If that is to transpire, are they good enough to still achieve their goal?

The Raptors are in a tough position to try to make deals. They are already in the luxury tax, which means that they will not be looking to take on any extra salary. Most players that move the needle will also come with a big-ticket attached, which makes it very difficult for them to be acquired. Adding to that challenge is the requirement for money to match on a potential trade. If the Raptors wanted to add a player making eight figures they would need to part ways with at least one of their big earners.

Toronto Raptors2018-2019 Salaries
Kyle Lowry$31.2 million
Kawhi Leonard$23.1 million
Serge Ibaka$21.6 million
Jonas Valanciunas$16.5 million
Danny Green$10 million
Norman Powell$9.3 million
Fred VanVleet$8.7 million
C.J. Miles$8.3 million
Delon Wright$2.5 million
OG Anunoby$2.0 million
Malachi Richardson$1.6 million
Pascal Siakam$1.5 million
Greg Monroe$1.5 million

A team that is willing to deal away a player that helps the Raptors is most likely looking for young players and prospects. This would be guys that grow with their new organization and help them win in the future. Toronto only has a small handful of players that may be coveted for such a role. The issue is, the Raptors do not want to give them away.

There is a potential that Kawhi Leonard does not return next season. If that is the case, the Dinos are in a tough position to be as competitive as they are now. If they were to give up young assets it would jeopardize the team’s future. Compounding this struggle would be the lack of their 2019 first round pick. It was traded to the San Antonio Spurs in the Leonard trade. This makes holding on to young talent that much more important.

While Toronto has welcomed Patrick McCaw recently, there is a real possibility that he will be their last acquisition before the deadline. If that is true, there is no need to panic. The team has all the pieces they need to go the distance. Health has been an issue all season for the Raptors and if they can get everyone back in the lineup and ready for the playoffs, they can be a force. A healthy team will be of greater significance than the addition of any fringe player to the lineup.

On the season, the Raps have struggled with perimeter shooting. This would be an area for improvement. However, as of late, slumping players showed great improvement. Kyle Lowry and C.J. Miles are the best examples of players who have begun to regain their form. If they are able to make their shots from beyond the arc, it means that Webster and Ujiri do not need to trade for someone with this skill set. In fact, if all the players on the roster play to their ability, the Raps are lethal on both sides of the court.

Next. Ranking the trade value of every Toronto Raptor. dark

No matter what the composition of the roster looks like on February 8, The Raptors will have a tough battle in the playoffs. They will need everyone playing their best in the playoffs with the new look Eastern Conference. If that is what they get, there is a strong possibility that the Raptors work themselves all the way to the NBA finals.