The Toronto Raptors are lucky to have an executive in Masai Ujiri that is willing to explore every avenue when it comes to adding premier talent that can start turning his squad into a championship team. That aggression has helped him fleece many franchises over the years.
However, some of the best moves that Ujiri has made in the last half-decade have been showing restraint and refusing to move some quality assets for players that might not be worth it. With how inflated the trade market was, it was probably for the best that Ujiri backed down.
While some teams should be praised for trying to go out and get their guy in the rumor mill, some deals look destined to bite one of the respective teams in the rear if one or two things end up going sideways. Every year, a desperate organization gets a little too eager and willing to part with picks.
These three trades may seem somewhat respectable on paper, but the argument can be made that the Raptors would have given up too much to acquire one of these standouts. Ujiri’s ability to avoid getting suckered into one of these deals will help the Raptors remain competitive this season.
Toronto Raptors: 3 trades Masai Ujiri rightfully passed up.
3. Kevin Huerter
Huerter was acquired by the Kings, who wanted to create a deadly 1-2 punch alongside free agent signing Malik Monk. Sacramento surrendered a first-round pick in addition to two proven rotation players in Justin Holiday and Mo Harkless. That’s a steep price for someone who has never been an exceptional two-way player.
Huerter has never averaged more than 13 points per game, and his contract extension would have put Toronto (who still needs to extend names like Fred VanVleet) in an even more precarious situation. Otto Porter Jr. will perform many of the same duties Huerter would have in Toronto, and he is a fraction of the price.
Kevin Huerter would have been very risky for the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors would have had to part with a first-round pick (something that Ujiri is not willing to do unless he finds a perfect schematic fit) and two backups to get someone that could compromise their defensive skills. 12 points a game, in addition to his financial obligations, is not worth parting with a first-round pick.
In a vacuum, someone with Huerter’s skills and production might make sense for the Raptors. Still, Ujiri has proven to be more than willing to go into a season slightly deficient in one area and make up for it later rather than negotiate from a position of desperation.