3 reasons Raptors won Thad Young-Goran Dragic trade with Spurs

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 16: Thaddeus Young #30 of the San Antonio Spurs (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 16: Thaddeus Young #30 of the San Antonio Spurs (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Toronto Raptors, Masai Ujiri
Toronto Raptors executive Masai Ujiri, who traded Goran Dragic for Thad Young (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors didn’t make the biggest trade deadline splash, but they still managed to free themselves from the shackles of Goran Dragic. The Slovenian veteran was traded to the San Antonio Spurs along with a first-round pick in exchange for Thad Young, Drew Eubanks, and a second-round pick.

Some Raptors fans weren’t thrilled with the deal, as adding another 6-8 power forward in Young doesn’t address the lack of rim protection or inadequate backup guard rotation behind Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet. However, there are reasons for optimism after the consummation of this deal.

The Raptors are currently in the playoff picture in the East, but they are doing so in spite of, not because of, their bench. Young coming to town gives Nick Nurse one wily veteran that fits in perfectly with Toronto’s scheme all while retaining his Bird rights ahead of free agency.

Toronto may not have brought a future superstar to Canada in this trade, but they should still be classified as the winners of this trade. Considering the possibilities this deal opens up in the immediate and long-term future, Toronto should be happy with what they got in return.

3 reasons the Toronto Raptors won the Thad Young-Goran Dragic trade.

3. Financial Flexibility

GM Bobby Webster knew that the Raptors needed to get away from the luxury tax line that Dragic pushed them near. Getting him out of town and creating a nice TPE as a result of the deal gives the Raptors a multitude of different directions they can go in over the next few weeks.

Justin Champagnie has had some impressive moments as a bench presence this season. The Raptors could use this as a chance to convert his two-way deal into a standard NBA contract. DJ Wilson impressed Toronto during their COVID-19 stint. Could he return thanks to this avenue?

The Toronto Raptors could go in one of many different directions.

Toronto figures to be active on the buyout market, meaning that players who were recently waived could end up getting another chance in the pros if the Raptors sign them for the remainder of the season. Perhaps this is how the backup point guard hole gets addressed.

The Raptors were extremely limited in how they could improve their team, yet they managed to add someone with years of experience that should be a seamless scheme fit. Young has been on Toronto’s watch list for years, and they finally nabbed him.