Raptors rumors: Joe Ingles would be a perfect trade target

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - MAY 01: Joe Ingles #2 of the Utah Jazz drives past Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - MAY 01: Joe Ingles #2 of the Utah Jazz drives past Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors may have shifted from retooling mode in 2021-22 to a win-now mindset, as their recent hot streak has them right in the thick of the playoff picture. If they want to make a deal that bolsters the bench, they could consider trading for a player like Utah Jazz sharpshooter Joe Ingles.

The Australian sniper has been a fan favorite for the last eight seasons in Utah due to his knockdown 3-point shooting, but the Jazz were reportedly interested (subscription required) in shipping him away in the offseason. With Danny Ainge running the show, Ingles could end up on the move once again.

While the Raptors have several huge issues in their rotation, the biggest of them all may be the bench depth. The lack of spacing and shooting has put an undue burden on the starters, which could come back to bite them in the rear if they don’t get an experienced player to provide stability.

Ingles fills a need, has experience in the postseason, and can be had without surrendering tons of draft capital. If the Jazz are looking to retool and potentially add talent elsewhere on their bench, the 34-year-old Ingles might be putting on a red and black jersey in the near future.

The Toronto Raptors should inquire about trading for Joe Ingles.

Ingles’ scoring has dipped from 12.1 points per game last year to 7.4 this season on 37% 3-point shooting. Considering that he has connected on 42% of his shots from deep on over five attempts per game in the last six years, Ingles has a proven history of being one of the best shooters in the game.

Ingles might not be an amazing athlete or defensive player, but Toronto’s bench is in dire need of a player with his skillset. Of the four players who normally come of the bench when everyone is healthy, two of them (Khem Birch, Precious Achiuwa) are almost complete non-shooters.

With Ingles a free agent at the end of this year, Ujiri won’t have to worry about potentially committing tons of money and years to a player in his advanced age. He’d be a perfect plug-and-play veteran that can be acquired without relinquishing draft capital and help cover up one of the most glaring holes on this roster

The Raptors could create a package centered around Chris Boucher in order to give Utah the frontcourt depth behind Rudy Gobert that they need. If Goran Dragic wants to be on a contender, could his salary be moved in a potential three-way trade that sends him to Salt Lake City?

Ingles might be difficult for Utah to part with given how he has endeared himself to the local community, but if he can be had for the right price, Masai Ujiri needs to give Danny Ainge a call.

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