The Toronto Raptors are on the cusp of becoming a contender in the Eastern Conference, but they need to add one or two more big names to place themselves in that tier firmly. A trade might need to be consummated in order to reach those heights.
The Denver Nuggets might be in a position to take Toronto up on their trade interest. While back-to-back MVP winner Nikola Jokic gives them a fighting chance at the championship every year, the fact that Denver lacks tons of great bench players has hurt them recently.
The Nuggets might look to remake the bench to provide more support for Jokic or get another star that turns them into a player in the West. The Raptors could use a shooter and point guard, and Denver seems willing to part with two of their best reserves who fit those descriptions.
The Action Network’s Matt Moore said that both Will Barton and Monte Morris are available in trade talks as Denver looks to rejigger the roster around Jokic and Jamal Murray. It’s hard to find two players who would plug holes more immediately than a shooter like Barton or floor general like Morris.
Will the Toronto Raptors trade for Will Barton, Monte Morris?
Barton has scored at least 11 points per game in each of his 7.5 seasons in Denver. Though he will be 32, the fact that he scored 14.7 points per game last year and made 36% of his 3-point attempts shows that he is still a quality scorer in this league who would be a big boost to the Raptors.
Morris set new career highs with 12.6 points and 4.4 assists per game while making 39% of his 3-point attempts. Morris proved he could be a starting point guard in this league, but he might be as valuable on the Raptors as a Sixth Man who takes command of the second unit.
The Nuggets are trying to build a contender, so they likely won’t do a like-for-like swap. If they are willing to fork over years of draft capital and one more ascending asset, they could get into the OG Anunoby sweepstakes. Toronto could also contact a third team and get them involved.
Denver is going to be a tricky trade partner given their desire to win now, but the fact they’ve already put Barton and Morris’ availability into the universe should serve as a sign that they are willing to part with both of them. If the price is right, Barton and Morris could kick the Toronto bench into overdrive.