The Toronto Raptors may have gotten back on track with a win against the Portland Trail Blazers, but Masai Ujiri is still going to work the phones and gauge the value of players like Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby. Considering all the assets they could part with, Toronto is one of the most influential players in the trade market.
The Raptors have four potentially tradeable starters who could all help them recoup multiple first-round picks or young, controllable players that can aid Toronto in rebooting the roster while remaining competitive. A full-scale fire sale is on the table, but that big red button likely isn’t being pressed.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein (subscription required), the Raptors are unlikely to trade some of their foundational pieces, adding further credence to reports of an astronomical price tag being placed on Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. Stein did confirm that one of the team’s starters is definitely available.
Stein said that Gary Trent Jr. is the only player he is aware of that Toronto has definitely made available in trade talks. Considering that both he and VanVleet could hit free agency after the season, the idea of Ujiri replicating the Norman Powell trade and getting a younger player in return could appeal to him.
Toronto Raptors trade rumors: Insider says Gary Trent Jr. is available.
Trent has averaged 25 points per game while making 45% of his 3-point attempts in his last six games, showing that he can still be an effective perimeter player despite the fact that Toronto has not provided him with adequate shooting support to take the pressure off him.
After being called out for his defensive effort earlier in the season, Trent is back on track in that area. He could earn a nine-figure contract in the offseason, and everything about his recent play suggests that he will be able to live up to that contract for a contender.
If you’re the Raptors, however, trading Trent might ruin the offense. Toronto has a hard time as it is being effective from 3-point range despite Trent’s best efforts, so the half-court offense could be even more rank if they decide to move a quality shooter at the peak of his powers.
Trent has been the team’s best non-Siakam player on offense this year, so trading him would be a move that earns a fair share of criticism both within the fanbase and externally. However, if Ujiri gets his socks knocked off with an offer in this inflated trade market, he may not have much of a choice.