While the Toronto Raptors can take comfort in the fact that they have everything at their disposal needed for a deep postseason run, not every team is gunning for championship glory. In actuality, we may witness a historic tank job thanks to the performance of consensus No. 1 draft prospect Victor Wembanyama.
The hype around Wembanyama (and, to a lesser extent, No. 2 prospect Scoot Henderson) is reaching levels we haven’t seen in over a decade. Who would have thought a 7-4 perimeter player that can handle the ball, shoot from deep, and defend multiple positions at 18 years old would get this level of acclaim? Stunning, really.
Wenbanyama is so talented that many of the league’s poorer teams could decide to trade away their veteran assets as soon as possible to accelerate the tank job and get the best odds at the No. 1 pick. The Raptors need to be more prepared for a big trade than they normally would be early in the year.
These five players will likely be traded at some point in the near future as their current employers try to find a way to land Wembanyama or the elite consolation prize that Henderson has become. The Raptors could land one of them with some aggression in the market.
5 Toronto Raptors trade targets as teams tank for Victor Wembanyama
5. Gary Harris, Orlando Magic
Harris seemed like a perfect addition in free agency for the Raptors, as he is a veteran guard who would add excellent shooting to the bench. While he chose to resign with Orlando and mentor the next generation, the Magic might bottom out and trade him to create a big three of Wembanyama, Paolo Banchero, and Franz Wagner.
Harris averaged 11.1 points per game last season, which was his highest mark since the 2018-19 season with Denver, while making 38% of his 3-point attempts. Harris could be a reasonable target due to the fact that Toronto wouldn’t have to part with a star to acquire him.
Toronto Raptors: Gary Harris would add shooting.
Harris could help Nurse extend the rotation while plugging a very big hole due to the current roster’s lack of great shooting. Owed $13 million per season over the next two years, Harris doesn’t have the most expensive contract in the world. That could appeal to a Raptors team worried about financial stability.
The Magic may have a better roster than last year, but even diehard fans know that this team is going to be in the lottery once again. In an Eastern Conference that is much better than it has been in previous years, Jeff Weltman and John Hammond might decide to waive the white flag this year and part with a vet like Harris.