The Toronto Raptors are poised to be very active trade partners when the deadline rolls around, as they have issues relating to a lack of bench depth and no true center helping solidify their bench. Making a move at the buzzer is certainly not an alien concept for this franchise.
Both Masai Ujiri and the collection of executives that came before him have made some moves at the trade deadline. Improving before the postseason has prompted some franchise-changing moves over the years, bringing some All-Stars and future Hall of Fame players to town.
The Raptors could be eyeing yet another franchise-tilting move at some point in the next few days, as Ujiri would like nothing more than adding a young player with some long-term potential in order to help this team in 2022 and beyond.
The Raptors could look back in the annals of franchise history to find a roadmap when it comes to going about big last-second moves. If Toronto gets aggressive enough, they could unseat one of these three trades as one of the biggest and most impactful in franchise history.
3 most impactful Toronto Raptors trade deadline moves.
3. The Jerome Williams swap, 2001
In a busy day of trading, the Raptors flipped Muggsy Bogues and Mark Jackson to the Knicks in exchange for Chris Childs and the pick that became Kareem Rush. The more impactful trade came later in the day, as Jerome Williams was acquired from the Pistons for Tyrone Corbin, Corliss Williamson, and a pick that turned into Fran Vazquez.
The Raptors would end up acquiring a player in Williams that was exactly what they needed at the time. A physical wing that was ahead of his time when it came to switching and defending multiple positions, Williams was a part of some early-2000s playoff runs.
The Toronto Raptors needed someone like Jerome Williams.
Williams would average 7.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game with Toronto, playing in 180 games during his Raptors tenure. Of the players Toronto traded away, only Williamson ended up having a long-term positive impact on his new destination.
Bogues and Corbin were at the end of their careers, while Jackson served as an elder statesman on a Knicks team that actually lost to the Raptors in the playoffs. Williams was never a superstar, but he would put 120% of the energy he had in a given day out on the floor every night. That deserves praise.