Toronto Raptors trade idea No. 1: The Raptors give up some expiring contracts
Norman Powell has been reinvigorated since making the move to the starting lineup, but a potentially perilous contract situation could make it difficult for Toronto to bank on him being back in 2021. Making him the centerpiece of trade could help the Raptors find a replacement.
Barnes was at his best as a small forward in Dallas and Golden State, and Toronto could give him the freedom to play on the wing more. Getting Whiteside, who is averaging 8.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game due to his poor fit in Sacramento’s offense, and swapping out Baynes at the center position could help Toronto get some more size before the postseason.
Why would this trade work for the Raptors?
Trading Powell after his hot streak might seem like blasphemy, but he could become a free agent at the end of this season, while Barnes is under contract for the next two seasons. The 6-8 Barnes offers much more versatility on both ends than the 6-3 Powell, all the while giving the Raptors an equally skilled offensive option.
Baynes has proven to be a solid defensive center, but his offense has been putrid. Whiteside can provide rebounding and shot-blocking at exceptionally high levels, all the while showing enough to be trusted as a lob finisher and dunker at close range. This trade gets the Raptors a potential offensive star, while Sacramento gets a talented scorer, backup big, and draft pick in return.