Second lottery trade partner emerges for Masai Ujiri, Raptors

The Toronto Raptors may have the No. 13 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, but that doesn’t mean they are automatically going to be locked into taking just one player in this lottery. With trade rumors afoot once again surrounding players like OG Anunoby, Toronto could be eyeing another draft pick.

The Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers have been linked together for quite some time, as the Blazers appear ready to trade away the No. 3 overall pick in order to get one more starter to help Damian Lillard compete for a championship.

Portland makes sense, but the Raptors need not despair if the Blazers are unwilling to get a deal done.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Indiana Pacers would be willing to trade away the No. 7 pick in the Draft if it means they could add a potential starter that can help them win now. The Pacers are sick and tired of being in the lottery, and they’re trying to reverse course.

Will the Toronto Raptors trade with the Pacers?

With Tyrese Haliburton quickly becoming one of the best point guards in the game, Indiana must work fast to maximize their wins during his prime. Their failed signing of Deandre Ayton last season shows they are at least making an attempt to win now amid all of their losses.

OG Anunoby makes the most sense for the Pacers, as they already have point guard and center locked down, thanks to Haliburton and Myles Turner. Rookie sensation Bennedict Mathurin figures to eventually move into the starting lineup off his strong rookie year.

Buddy Hield and Aaron Nesmith stand out as two wing shooters who could be a godsend for the Raptors if this trade gets consummated. Moving up to No. 7 will also take Toronto out of Nick Smith/Keyonte George range and give them a shot at Gradey Dick or one of the Thompson twins.

Toronto can’t keep their starting five together forever. Beyond the financial strain that would put on an already thin roster, it would also be a tough sell from a competitive point of view. This deal could help Indiana speed up their timeline while giving Toronto two lottery picks to mess around with in addition to whatever players they get.