3 reasons the Raptors should stand pat at the trade deadline

OTORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 13: Pascal Siakam #43 and Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
OTORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 13: Pascal Siakam #43 and Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Toronto Raptors, Scottie Barnes
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 14: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

There are several reasons that Toronto Raptors management could be tempted to swing a trade by the February 10 trade deadline. No team in the NBA is perfect, and Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster could correct some of their imperfections by making a move or two.

As constituted, the Raptors roster has obvious flaws. They need frontcourt depth with Khem Birch missing games multiple times this year due to a bad knee. There is also the matter of the team needing to shoot better from the three-point line, where they are 17th in the league at 34.7%.

The roster could also use an infusion of bench support, as the Raptors are the worst team in the NBA in bench scoring at 24.4 points per game.

Then, there are also the financial considerations. With a total payroll of over $135 million this season, slightly under the luxury tax level, Goran Dragic has been a $19 million albatross around the team’s neck. Shedding his salary might allow the team to acquire a player or two that could address the team’s true weaknesses.

However, the Raptors are not performing badly considering this season was intended to be a rebuilding year. Any moves might alter team chemistry irreparably and make matters worse than they are.

3 reasons the Toronto Raptors should stay the course.

3. Keep giving the young guys playing time.

Raptors’ management used this offseason to add several young developing assets to the roster. Toronto acquired three draftees in Scottie Barnes, Dalano Banton, and David Johnson while adding Justin Champagnie as an undrafted free agent. There was also the addition of sophomore center Precious Achiuwa in the Kyle Lowry deal.

While the Raptors could make the postseason this year, development and improvement are being stressed in Toronto. The oldest players on this roster are Chris Boucher and Birch at age 29. The Raptors need to make sure that these young guys continue to get playing time.

The Toronto Raptors should keep developing their young stars.

It says a lot that a rookie like Barnes is averaging 35.8 minutes per game and Achiuwa has over 25 after averaging 12.1 minutes a game in his rookie season. The youth movement on this team plays a large role in the team’s success, and there isn’t much of a reason to bail on it after one-half of a season.

To date, many of the young players under Nurse’s watchful eye have been given solid opportunities to help the team, with lottery pick Barnes a favorite to be the potential Rookie of the Year. At times, it feels like the rookies should be given even more playing time. Trust the young guys!