5 trade scenarios Raptors must prepare for this offseason

Feb 12, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 12, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Toronto Raptors, Josh Hart
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 16: Josh Hart #11 of the Portland Trail Blazers, a potential Toronto Raptors target (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors appeared to rebuild much faster than many media prognosticators anticipated. The likes of Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam continuing to dominate have given the Raptors a much rosier long-term outlook than they had when they completed their sabbatical in Tampa.

Ujiri’s trade for Thad Young shows that not only does he have an understanding of what the critical holes on this roster are, but it proves that he is willing to give up on some of his future assets to make improvements to this roster in short order.

The Raptors spent the entire pre-deadline timeframe trying to ditch Goran Dragic in the name of flexibility. With some big names coming off of the books this offseason, Toronto will have even more financial freedom to go for broke and chase some names that end up in the rumor mill.

If Ujiri has enough foresight, he should be monitoring the situations of these five players. Should one of these five grow unhappy with their current team or if a franchise decides to go in a different direction, Toronto could snatch them up and get more support for their dynamic core.

5 trades Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors should prepare for.

5. Trail Blazers ditch Josh Hart and start a rebuild

On one hand, Portland has repeatedly claimed that they are intending to build a winner around Damian Lillard next year. On the other, dealing away players like CJ McCollum and Norman Powell hints that this franchise is dangerously close to pressing the rebuild button. Trading Hart could help them get some extra interior depth.

Hart is playing the best basketball of his career, as he is averaging nearly 20 points per game with the Blazers. He might be on the move again as Portland looks to capitalize on his value, and Toronto would be a perfect landing spot for his blend of rebounding and shooting.

The Toronto Raptors would love a player like Josh Hart.

Hart has averaged over 7.5 rebounds per game during the last two seasons, as his 6-5 frame belies some solid rebounding instincts and exceptional versatility. A pick and a player might be enough to grab a player who isn’t going to be a free agent until 2024 comes around.

Hart could’ve been acquired right before the trade deadline if the Pelicans weren’t in a buying mood and added McCollum. When Portland looks at the landscape of the West and assesses their roster, they should realize that flipping Hart to a team like Toronto for assets might be the best move for the future.