The Toronto Raptors missed out on big trade names like Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell during the 2022-23 offseason, but there is still one big name left on the market that Masai Ujiri could chase. The Raptors haven’t given up on adding Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
While the Thunder are allegedly trying to build a dominant young core around SGA, Chet Holmgren, and Josh Giddey, that timeline might not sit well with one of the game’s best young players. Holmgren missing the entire season likely resigned OKC to another year near the top of the lottery.
The Raptors are reportedly “monitoring” the Gilgeous-Alexander situation, as any deterioration in relations could be enough to get trade talks started back up. One of the team’s more prominent ambassadors is not exactly being very subtle about wooing SGA over to Canada.
Drake posted a picture of Gilgeous-Alexander in full Canadian national team battle regalia. Considering that SGA has played under Nick Nurse for Team Canada and was born in Toronto, Drake isn’t exactly being subtle about luring Shai back to his native country.
Drake wants Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the Toronto Raptors.
Toronto is not getting Gilgeous-Alexander unless Masai Ujiri parts with multiple starters and first-round draft choices. That’s quite a haul, but considering how Gilgeous-Alexander has averaged 24.2 points and 5.9 assists per game in the last two years without reliable co-stars, asking for such a lofty return makes sense.
Gilgeous-Alexander playing off-ball next to Fred VanVleet would make the Raptors an instant top-four team. If he can improve his 3-point shooting and get it back to his elite 2020-21 levels, good luck trying to slow down four players with All-Star potential at the same time.
SGA might be a better trade target for Toronto than Mitchell, as his size, youth, and more affordable financial constraints might make it easier for Nurse to build a winner around him. Given his national team exploits, there already exists a great deal of familiarity between the two parties.
The Raptors are going to be very careful in how they approach talks with Oklahoma City. There’s nothing Sam Presti would like more than trying to siphon off every tradeable asset the Raptors have for the next few years. That being said, you don’t get the opportunity to trade for a young guard this talented too often.