The Toronto Raptors are considered by many to be a potential seller, as they have thrown Pascal Siakam into the trade rumor mill. Siakam has been one of the most ubiquitous names in the rumor mill over the last few weeks, alongside James Harden and Damian Lillard.
Lillard seems to be intent on forcing his way to the Miami Heat, though it seems very unlikely he will refuse to play for another team who acquires him due to how many years he has left on his contract. Is there an outside shot that Toronto could end up being that team?
Masai Ujiri doesn’t seem willing to rebuild entirely, and he has a history of pulling off huge trades that involve star players coming to Toronto. If he wants to give it one last push in an open Eastern Conference, Lillard could help him further that end.
Michael Pina of The Ringer subscribes to this theory, pushing a Lillard trade that could end up sending Dame to Toronto and a haul of young players back the other way to Portland.
Grade the Trade: Raptors stun with odd Damian Lillard trade.
This trade should be a non-starter based on the inclusion of Scottie Barnes. Considering how the Raptors were unwilling to include him in a Kevin Durant deal and have spent every single media availability in the last few months discussing how awesome Barnes is, trading him is unrealistic.
Moving Trent, who was reportedly very displeased with his time in Portland, back to the Pacific Northwest would be tough for a player who appears to be closing in on a Raptors extension. Getting rid of Boucher and Porter would be nice, but this team can’t afford to empty their cupboard of draft picks.
The positives are there, however. Lillard is still a superstar in this league, and Toronto would immediately be a play-in contender with a two-headed monster of Dame and Siakam leading the charge. Little is a nice young piece that fits in with what Toronto likes to develop.
If the Raptors were going to trade for Lillard, a package centered around OG Anunoby or Siakam would make more sense. Saying goodbye to the team’s centerpiece in Barnes would be an unusual move that could ruin Toronto’s long-term plans.