The Toronto Raptors are currently without a first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, meaning that they will need to get creative if they want to make sure that they can add a player who can move the needle. If he is seriously considering a seismic trade, Masai Ujiri needs to get the Sacramento Kings on the line.
The Kings moved up in the lottery and ended up with the No. 4 overall pick. While one would think that Sacramento would use this as an opportunity to add one of the best young players in the draft, there are rumors abound that the Kings will move off of the pick in exchange for a veteran to play alongside Domnantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox.
The Raptors don’t appear to be fully closing the door on trading back into the lottery. How else does one explain Toronto meeting with lottery locks like Canadian Bennedict Mathurin and Australian sensation Dyson Daniels? Sacramento might be the team most willing to move off their Top 10 pick.
The Raptors should be unwilling to move any of their long-term core in order to get the No. 4 pick, but there is still a way towards getting that pick if Ujiri is creative enough. This hypothetical trade would get Scottie Barnes a running mate who can dominate alongside him for a decade.
This Toronto Raptors-Sacramento Kings trade involves the No. 4 pick
Trent has the ability to opt out of his Raptors contract after next season, and he would be stupid not to after his breakout campaign in 2021-22. With extensions for Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam still needing finalizations, it could be tough to give Trent the contract he wants.
Moving him in this deal gives Sacramento that veteran to pair with Fox, Sabonis, and Davion Mitchell with the ability to potentially load up on future draft capital in the process. Toronto, meanwhile, will add another young cornerstone to their ranks in addition to a potential 2022 starter.
Barnes averaged 16.4 points per game, his highest per game number since 2017-18, while making 47% of his field goal attempts and 39% of his 3-pointers. Barnes will help replace the production vacated by Trent while giving Toronto a more experienced wing player that can add size to the lineup.
This trade is unlikely, as the odds of the Raptors parting with Trent are small. However, if Ujiri believes that the starting five as currently constructed is not good enough to take that next step, the most likely of the five to be on the move might be Trent.