3 buy-low trade targets the Raptors could give a second chance

May 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
May 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Toronto Raptors, Kevin Knox
TAMPA, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 31: Kevin Knox II #20 of the New York Knicks shoots a three-pointer during the second half against the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have had an interesting season to date. With a quarter of their games complete, do they need to find more talent or stay the course? Masai Ujiri could go in one of several different directions when it comes to improving this roster and staying in the playoff hunt.

Management could stay the course and wait for OG Anunoby and Khem Birch to get healthy without making any moves. If they decide against that, issues like bench production, defensive rebounding, and frontcourt depth could be addressed with a trade.

Weighing these pros and cons is something that Masai Ujiri will need to wrestle with the rest of the season. One way to potentially beef up this team is to look for castoffs from other teams. Toronto could give them new life as they try to improve their bench.

Several players throughout the league could fill a role to improve the squad while being both low-cost and low-risk. They could get a second chance to prove their NBA worthiness with the Raptors.

3 buy-low trade targets the Toronto Raptors could acquire.

3. Kevin Knox, New York Knicks

While Toronto’s win against New York was impressive for the young Raptors, it shows that the Knicks are in turmoil. One major problem for the Knicks is their inept drafting, as most of their picks end up being subpar. Their 2018 pick, a promising wing in Knox, likely won’t be back in 2022-23.

Much was expected of Knox, the ninth overall pick out of Kentucky. His rookie season suggested there was a diamond that need developing, as he averaged 12.8 points in 28.8 minutes per game. He had the green light to take the shots and make the plays he wanted.

However, his production turned out to be fool’s gold. The Knicks were a bad team, and while he shot a respectable 34% on threes, he shot just 37% from the field overall. His defensive rating of 115 speaks to his issues on that end. This season he’s only seen action in seven of the Knicks’ 27 games to date.

Should the Toronto Raptors try to add Kevin Knox?

Knox has found it tough to slide back into the rotation. He plays for a coach in Tom Thibodeau who not only demands defensive intensity and effort from his players, but also leans on veterans over youth.

If he can get back on the right track, Knox checks several boxes for the Raptors. At 22 years old, he’s young enough to still develop and fit the timeline of this team. Furthermore, his physique is a match to so many Raptors in the rotation right now. Knox is 6-7 with a 7-0 wingspan.

Knox has shown some positives as a shooter from deep. He may need a more expansive role than what New York is giving him.

The Raptors need bench depth. Their average bench production of 23.3 points per game is dead last in the NBA. Knox may never develop into an amazing defender, but perhaps getting a slightly longer leash in Toronto could help him recapture his rookie magic.

Knox could be acquired cheaply. The Knicks have not extended a rookie contract extension to him. Toronto could wait until the offseason to add a highly coveted prospect from three years ago, or make a trade proposal before the trade deadline. The Knicks’ willingness to make a transaction with a divisional rival is unknown, but Knox is not in their future plans.