3 Buy-low trade targets no longer wanted by their own teams

The Toronto Raptors should be looking to buy low on prospects who are not being prioritized by their own teams and could be pried away in a trade
AJ Griffin, Atlanta Hawks and Jarace Walker, Indiana Pacers
AJ Griffin, Atlanta Hawks and Jarace Walker, Indiana Pacers / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
2 of 4

No. 3: Jarace Walker, Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers entered the 2023 offseason with a clear need on the roster: to add a power forward. They had their center in place with Myles Turner and a new budding star at point guard with Tyrese Haliburton, and a decent number of wing players to work into the rotation. What they didn't have was a power forward.

The Pacers attacked that problem right away in the NBA Draft, selecting Houston forward Jarace Walker with the eighth pick. One of the best defenders in the draft, Walker was projected as an elite pick-and-roll partner with his combination of finishing and playmaking. The path seemed open for him to receive a lot of playing time and to benefit from playing alongside Haliburton and with Turner's spacing opening up the paint.

Indiana proceeded to trade for Obi Toppin, then a few months later trade for Pascal Siakam, jam-packing a formerly empty power forward position. Instead of an open runway to playing time, Walker found himself relegated to the G League. He played extremely well for the Indiana Mad Ants, showing off his passing and an improved 3-point shot, but played only 340 minutes for the Pacers all season and essentially just mop-up minutes in the postseason.

Rather than clear space for their highly-drafted forward, however, the Pacers re-signed both Siakam and Toppin in free agency, effectively ensuring there would be no substantive room for Walker in the rotation for the foreseeable future. The time for another team to strike in the trade market is now before Walker has an opportunity to force his way into the rotation and prove his worth.

Walker's fit on the Raptors is not the cleanest, as Scottie Barnes also plays power forward, but the roster behind Barnes is relatively clear and their combined passing and rim protection could lend itself to "small" lineups with the two switching everything as the bigs. If Walker's shot continues to develop they could also play the 3 and the 4 together in ultra-big lineups. Having two-way forwards is a valuable commodity, and the Raptors may be able to buy low on an extremely talented player.