The Toronto Raptors have been right in the thick of the Kevin Durant trade sweepstakes over the last few days, as many are postulating that Masai Ujiri could part with several starters and years of draft picks to acquire one of the best players this game has ever seen.
While that sounds like a no-brainer move for the Raptors, the fact that contenders across the league could offer more enticing packages will be an obstacle to getting a deal done. Even if Durant isn’t wearing red and black, Ujiri shouldn’t put down the phone just yet.
The fact that Ujiri has been so vigorous in working the phones shows that he is willing to trade away some of his established players if it means that he can get a starter in return. Ujiri has typically aced trades of this magnitude, so he should feel confident in his ability to deliver another winner.
The Raptors may not end up with Durant after the dust settles, but that doesn’t mean they should put off their chase for one of these three impact playmakers. They could serve as ways to give the backcourt a boost without mortgaging their future to acquire Durant.
3 Raptors backup trade targets if the Kevin Durant deal falls through.
3. Coby White, Chicago Bulls
While the Bulls have reportedly refuted trade interest in White at just about every turn so far, every executive has their breaking point with a player of White’s caliber. Imagine the former lottery pick and Tar Heel star combining with new signing Otto Porter Jr. to solidify the backcourt.
Even though White’s scoring dropped to 12.7 points per game, that is due to increased competition for shots. Shooting 43% from the field and 39% from 3-point range helped set new career-best marks. At just 22 years old, White is young enough to where his best basketball is coming in the next few seasons. It’s time to buy low.
Coby White could be a worthwhile addition to the Toronto Raptors.
White would likely require some sort of draft compensation, as a Bulls team with eyes on the playoffs won’t give away a young player like him for chump change. By throwing in a promising long-term asset on the court and some picks. Arturas Karnisovas could finally renege on his initial stubbornness.
While the Porter signing makes a ton of sense for Toronto, given his style of play and championship experience, a player like White will have a more significant impact on Toronto’s offensive gameplan. He’s nowhere even close to being in Durant’s tier, but White would still be an upgrade.