Toronto Raptors fans are not shy about their desire to see as many Canadian players on the team as possible. With one of the league’s most dynamic scorers in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hailing from Toronto, the Raptors have been connected to the Oklahoma City Thunder star for years.
Gilgeous-Alexander is an All-Star level player who can play both guard spots and take over a game offensively. Unfortunately, SGA is doing all of this on a Thunder team that has been very open in their desire to lose games now and collect as many future draft picks as possible.
With Chet Holmgren out for the season, the Thunder could just call this season a wash and focus on 2023-24. If Gilgeous-Alexander desires a trade to a contending situation, the Raptors could solve their perimeter scoring woes by trading for one of the game’s best guards.
According to Josh Lewenberg of TSN, the Raptors are “monitoring” the Gilgeous-Alexander situation. With Toronto having been in the Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes until the bitter end, Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster clearly have an interest in making another seismic move to improve the team.
Toronto Raptors trade rumors: Is Shai Gilgeous Alexander coming?
Over the last two seasons, Gilgeous-Alexander averaged24.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. While his 3-point shooting fell off a cliff last year, the fact he’s put up such jaw-dropping numbers without viable secondary options to take the pressure off him deserves tons of praise.
There is some familiarity between Gilgeous-Alexander and the Raptors, as he played under Nick Nurse for the Canadian national team. The Raptors would have to part with multiple starters and first-round picks, but a starting backcourt of VanVleet and Gilgeous-Alexander would be borderline unstoppable if they are used properly.
There are many obstacles that could impact trade talks. SGA is under contract until 2027 and hasn’t shown a desire to leave Oklahoma City. Add that to the fact that the Mitchell and Dejounte Murray trades have helped inflate the trade market, and you get a perfect storm of deterrent factors that could hurt Toronto in talks.
Gilgeous-Alexander is likely not coming to Toronto, as doing so would mean that Oklahoma City is set for another half-decade of losing. However, if things become untenable for him, we could see relations deteriorate to a point where the Raptors can swoop in. You couldn’t find a better secondary scorer for this team if you tried.