If Kawhi Leonard stays with the Toronto Raptors beyond this offseason, they may look to upgrade on an already stellar roster. If that’s the case, who are three big trade options they can target?
It seems slightly disingenuous to talk about upgrading on a team that has just won it’s first ever NBA title but that’s what is happening right now. The Toronto Raptors are the NBA champions for the first time in franchise history but rest is for the wicked.
Teams all around the league will be looking to upgrade on their rosters in a loaded free agency. The likes of Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson could all be on the move with more names to follow.
One name that was left off of that list was that of Kawhi Leonard, two-time NBA champion and two-time Finals MVP. His looming free agency casts doubt over the whole league. Will Leonard remain in Toronto, with the team he just won championship gold with or will he move out west to L.A., most likely to join the Los Angeles Clippers?
In this completely hypothetical –but also entirely plausible — universe, Kawhi has re-signed with the Raptors. Hooray for that. It’s a deal that makes sense, Leonard sticks with a team that is a championship favorite once again and all is well.
Or is it?
Yes, mostly. But doubt looms over the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired the best one-two tandem in the NBA, putting LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the same team. James now has someone, who by all accounts, can be considered the most talented teammate of his career – save for Dwyane Wade.
The Lakers are contenders once more, and reinforcements could potentially be on the horizon. Elsewhere, the Bucks grow with Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Utah Jazz finally have their elite point guard in Mike Conley.
Teams feel like their window is now, well and truly, open. The Golden State Warriors look like they’re taking a backseat in 2019-20, while the Houston Rockets are on the verge of near implosion.
For the first time in a long time, the Wild West really is up for grabs.
The Eastern Conference remains top-heavy, with the Philadelphia 76ers exhausting their cap to re-sign Butler and Tobias Harris, but they remain an elite team. One that was inches away from defeating the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
And, hey, maybe the Brooklyn Nets sign Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. It’s unlikely we’ll see Durant on the court this season but the implications of that signing stretch further than the shackles of one season.
With all that being said, sure, the Raptors can stand pat and stick with a team that’s fresh off a shiny new ring. But where’s the fun in that?
Let’s cause some chaos. Who are three big, and certainly attainable, trade targets for the Toronto Raptors?