The Toronto Raptors have less than three weeks to decide whether they are buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster oversee a team outside of a play-in/playoff position and lost three brutal games in a row.
Consider that at 21-26 on the season, with no signs of an extended winning streak on the horizon, if the season ended now, Toronto would have the seventh-best odds at the first-overall pick, which likely would be Victor Wembanyama.
While the Raptors under Nick Nurse preach and hang their identity on defense, it is not translating into wins this season. Their outstanding ability to force turnovers and grab steals saw them take 15 more shots than the Bucks on Tuesday night (101-86), but it did not reflect on the scoreboard in the 130-122 loss.
If the Raptors want to retool rather than rebuild, one of either Gary Trent Jr. or Fred VanVleet could be traded away in exchange for a cheaper alternative with multiple years left on his contract. They could find that in Detroit Pistons wing Bojan Bogdanovic.
Bojan Bogdanovic could solve the Toronto Raptors’ offensive woes.
If you believe the season is salvageable and that the Raptors can get back to playoff contention relatively shortly, Bogdanovic could bring very consistent shooting and another scorer to this team.
Defense wins championships, which is not Bogdanovic’s strength, but for a team with an abundance of defense-first players and a lack of shooters, the trade-off could help balance this team out and provide a veteran influence for the youth on the squad.
For the season, the 33-year-old Bogdanovic is averaging 21.3 points per game and 41% on approximately six 3-point attempts per game. These numbers would be extremely reliable for a team in Toronto that averages 33.2% on their three-point attempts, ranking third worst in the NBA.
Bogdanovic would solve this problem, as he is a deadeye on long shots averaging over 39% for his career. It is also no wonder that Detroit wants a hefty fee to part ways with the six-foot-seven forward. It’s a price tag that would include an unprotected first-round draft pick.
At a salary of $19.5 million and under contract until 2025, the Raptors’ only real concern would be a sudden decline in the 33-year-old veteran’s play. However, for the time being, he would be a quality stop-gap measure for a Raptors’ offense that consistently sputters its way through games.
It might also facilitate Toronto moving Scottie Barnes to the point guard position if Trent or VanVleet gets shipped away in a similar deal and Bogdanovic comes in. Barnes has had some success operating from the elbow in recent weeks.
Even if you’re optimistic about Toronto’s roster, the need for more shooting is clear and obvious. Bogdanovic is going to be a somewhat risky acquisition due to his price and size, but the Raptors will be in dire need of someone with his skillset when the offseason begins. Why not beat everyone else to the punch?