The Toronto Raptors are in a bit of a rut lately, as they appear to be hovering around play-in territory rather than proving they are a team who can make some noise in the playoffs. Given Masai Ujiri’s past distaste for such mediocrity, it stands to reason that some trades could be made.
Toronto is in a very difficult spot right now. While they will clearly try to make moves that put them in a better position to compete for championships, they need to be mindful of how much money they are spending due to an impending Pascal Siakam extension.
The latest rumor dump from Michael Scotto of HoopsHype shows that many players who could help plug some of Toronto’s biggest holes are on the market and could be had for the right price. There have been rumors that Toronto could do something if the roster stagnates, and the last few games show this team needs some new blood.
These four players would be quality additions to what Ujiri and Nick Nurse are building in Toronto. Even though adding one of these players would be a drastic shake-up to this roster, that realignment could be what this team needs to get back to the No. 5 seed they were last year.
Toronto Raptors rumors: 4 big trades to make before trade deadline
4. Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks
Scotto mentioned that Hartenstein, who has played well after impressing with the Clippers last year, could be on the move if the Knicks fall apart and Jericho Sims continues to impress the team. Given his cheap contract, every team in the league should be in on him.
Hartenstein is making 53% of his shots while averaging 6.9 rebounds per game. While having two 7-footers that need developing in Hartenstein and Christian Koloko might not sound ideal, Nick Nurse had made use of lineups with two bigs sharing the floor in the past.
Can the Toronto Raptors nab Isaiah Hartenstein?
In both Los Angeles and New York, Hartenstein has been a picture of efficiency. Given the offensive struggles Toronto has had of late, particularly at the rim, perhaps it wouldn’t be a shocker if they tried to add a player like Hartenstein that won’t cost an arm and a leg in a trade.
Given all of their first-round picks, the Knicks could look to trade away as many spare parts as possible in order to acquire a disgruntled star. If the team is indeed open for business, Ujiri could beat the rest of the league to the punch by getting Hartenstein and offloading Khem Birch.