The Toronto Raptors appear to be set with regards to their training camp roster, but the possibility of Masai Ujiri surprising everyone with another well-timed trade could end up coming to fruition. With the Utah Jazz in fire sale mode, Jordan Clarkson may get sent somewhere else.
After the trade of Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Clarkson is next up on the proverbial chopping block. With Toronto needing more bench scoring despite all of their quality improvements during the offseason, adding Clarkson could be the best way to check that box.
The Raptors might need to be wary about trading with Utah, as Danny Ainge’s insistence on getting as much draft capital as possible could make it tough to consummate a trade. If the Raptors can acquire a premium asset like Clarkson without losing a top pick, Ujiri should pursue this line of inquiry.
Sports Illustrated’s Brett Siegel concocted a scenario in which Toronto lands one of the best bench players in the league in Clarkson without surrendering a first-round pick. While the Raptors would lose a prized young player in the process getting Clarkson would certainly mitigate that loss.
This Toronto Raptors-Utah Jazz trade gets Jordan Clarkson to Toronto.
The only reason for trepidation in this deal is trading Achiuwa, an ascending young player who fits Toronto’s scheme like a glove. However, if the Raptors are able to add a player like Clarkson without giving away one of the starters or a first-round draft pick is quite an impressive maneuver.
The Raptors could easily be willing to slightly compromise their defensive integrity if it means they will be able to get that one bench dynamo that can take over games. Clarkson would ease the burden on the starters and
If the Jazz can relocate Birch to a third team given how unfriendly his contract is, they could add two more rotation players and a pick for someone who is almost certainly going to decline his $14 million playoff option and test free agency. Losing him after one year could hurt Toronto, but locking him up for 2023 would be a godsend.
Clarkson is a lousy defender who is in his age-30 season, but he is still too valuable as a scorer for his talents to be wasted on a Jazz team that has no interest in winning games this season. Going to Toronto, and filling a considerable need while he’s doing it, is a much better use of his talents.