The Toronto Raptors are by no means at the forefront of the Damian Lillard trade saga, as the Portland Trail Blazers star has been very upfront in his desire to play for the Miami Heat, but the Raptors have been on the periphery due to their interest in
Lillard talks have slowed to a crawl lately, and with that, Toronto’s own reported interest in getting Heat guard Tyler Herro rerouted to them has also died down. Bleacher Report is doing its part to get the Lillard talks back up at the forefront with their trade idea.
Rather than sending Lillard to Miami, Zach Buckley believes that Toronto should make a move for Lillard. With stars like Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby potentially on the market after this season, Buckley thinks that Toronto needs to mortgage the future to win now.
Making an aggressive move isn’t something that should be totally discouraged, but the Raptors going for Lillard at the cost of much of their rotation might be too much of a price to pay.
Grade the Trade: Toronto Raptors swap Scottie Barnes for Damian Lillard.
Scottie Barnes is not going to be traded. Period. Write it in blood. Not happening.
Even if you’re willing to entertain such a move in Lillard talks, giving up a player who might be their only first-round pick between 2022 and 2024 in Dick and the team’s best backup guard in Schroder to get Lillard would leave this rotation as an unbridled mess.
As good as Lillard would be for the Raptors, this would be an all-in move for a team that is not ready to go all-in yet. Siakam or Anunoby leaving after this year would once again leave the Raptors in such an impoverished state they wouldn’t contend for years.
The Raptors have rebuilt their rotation well in free agency, and this trade would end away four players. Malachi Flynn and Otto Porter Jr. would have to play vital roles if this deal ever went down.
While conventional wisdom would say that whoever is getting the best player in the trade can often be viewed as the big winners (see Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis), trading away everything that isn’t nailed down for a potentially disgruntled, aging guard could hurt this team immensely.