3 Canadian players the Toronto Raptors could go after this summer

The Raptors already have a standout Canadian in RJ Barrett, but adding one of these three names would bolster the Canadian pride on their roster.
Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors
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No. 1: Lu Dort

This is a bit of a long shot, but hear it out. Back to another important player for a playoff-contending unit in the Oklahoma City Thunder, Lu Dort has made a name for himself as one of the league's elite perimeter defenders. The Montreal native has a pesky knack for locking down opposing players in what has been referred to as "The Dorture Chamber", and it's truly a pleasant sight to see Dort's career play out as someone who went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Dort spent a lone season at Arizona State, but his collegiate efforts did not impress any teams enough to select him with a draft pick, rather he signed a two-way deal with the OKC Thunder leading up to the 2019-20 season. Dort found himself on a retooling OKC roster with master floor general Chris Paul, a young Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, veteran Danilo Gallinari, and Thunder mainstay Steven Adams. It was in the 2020 NBA Bubble where Dort caught the fans and media's attention alike, as his strong defensive abilities were on full display opposing then-Houston Rockets superstar James Harden.

Dort went from a two-way player to justifiably earning a five-year $87.5 million contract extension in the 2022 offseason. Since that Bubble breakout, Dort has arguably been the heart and soul of OKC alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. So why would Oklahoma City deal out their defensive dynamo? The Thunder are in a bit of a weird situation. They are talented enough to be a playoff contender, and even had high aspirations for a championship push this season, but some of the pieces around the team are redundant or lacking. For example, the Thunder struggled mightily with their lack of big-man depth, putting a ton of the load on rookie Chet Holmgren's shoulders.

You know who could be a solid backup or even starting-caliber center for the Thunder? Jakob Poeltl. Sure, he's making a ton of money for his production, but at his absolute best, Poeltl can be a difference-maker for his team. Just look at the Raptors' abysmal record when Poeltl was out with an injury. He has his limitations, but he could easily be inserted in a lineup alongside Chet, and the fluidity of running two bigs could work. Losing Dort would hurt, but the Thunder have quality replacements in Cason Wallace, Aaron Wiggins, and Jalen Williams, who could finally move to his more natural small forward position. The Thunder have the 12th overall pick in this year's draft too, so that's another player who could slide into the Dort role.

Dort is a tremendous player, who is also still very young in his NBA career at only 25 years old, but he may not be as untouchable as he once was to Sam Presti and the Thunder front office. The time could be now for Toronto to bring in their possible OG Anunoby / 3-and-D wing replacement for the future.

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