Raptors trade rumors: 3 guards who could bolster the bench

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 29: Gary Harris #14 of the Orlando Magic takes a shot over Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 29: Gary Harris #14 of the Orlando Magic takes a shot over Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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Dennis Smith Jr, Toronto Raptors
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 08: Dennis Smith Jr. #10 of the Portland Trail Blazers, a Toronto Raptors trade target (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors need to make a few moves if they want to assert themselves as legit playoff contenders. If they only have enough assets to pull off one big trade, they should try to get someone that could provide a nice burst of shooting off of the bench given the club’s issues in that area.

With Svi Mykhailiuk out of the rotation due to ineffective play and both Dalano Banton and Malachi Flynn in the timeout corner after some growing pains, Toronto has been reduced to leaning on as few as seven players in the rotation. The lack of bench scoring could be their undoing.

While Toronto might not have tons of tradeable assets beyond Goran Dragic and Chris Boucher, that shouldn’t stop Masai Ujiri from putting some feelers out there and trying to pluck a bench player away from a team that could look to pick up some draft capital for 2022 and beyond.

The Raptors should set their sights on one of these four guards, as they could be acquired for a relatively fair price. Adding one of these guards will without question help Toronto pick up a win or two down the stretch thanks to some depth that would no longer rank among the league’s worst.

Toronto Raptors rumors: 3 guards to trade for and add to the bench.

3. Dennis Smith Jr, Portland Trail Blazers

A former top recruit and lottery pick who fizzled out in New York and Dallas, Smith has fallen into the rotation in Portland after finally fine-tuning some of the flaws in his game. However, with Portland on the fringes of the final play-in seed, Smith could be on the move in exchange for draft assets.

While 6.4 points and 3.4 assists per game might not sound like earth-shattering numbers, his per 36-minute stats show that he is averaging the best assist rate and second-best rebound rate of his career. More experienced than Banton and athletic than Flynn, Smith would get minutes instantly.

Dennis Smith Jr. could be a nice backup for the Toronto Raptors.

Smith won’t help much as a shooter. He’s making just 23% of his attempts and is taking fewer 3-pointers than he has at any point in his career. Still, he’s an elite athlete playing better defense than he had before this season. That’s worth a gamble.

Like Forbes, Smith can be had at a discount without giving up anything close to a first-round pick. Unless Flynn and Banton suddenly wake up and get back in the rotation, look for a player like Smith to potentially come in and eat up some of the minutes Nick Nurse is racking his brain to divvy up.