3 Offseason trade targets for Raptors to accelerate their rebuild

The Toronto Raptors may not want to wait to draft and develop another star. What players can they target in a trade to accelerate their rebuild?
Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks
Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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No. 1: Dejounte Murray

The Toronto Raptors will be hard-pressed to find a star-level player on the trade market. The available options are likely punitively expensive, such as Towns, or are elite players who would supersede Scottie Barnes in the pecking order, something the Raptors won't want to do.

One option who might thread the needle is Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray. He just signed a new four-year contract extension that pays him around $28 million per season, or around half of what Towns will be making. That's a cap number the Raptors can work around.

The Hawks are also likely shopping Murray this summer, so Toronto will have the opportunity to work out a trade package for him. Packages for Murray at the Trade Deadline didn't entice the Hawks; perhaps that means Toronto will need to pay up to trade for him, but it could mean the teams interested in February move elsewhere and dry up the Hawks' market.

The fit on the team is a larger hurdle than cost, and that's where Toronto has to ask itself the hard questions. Dejounte Murray would be a talented two-way player, someone who entered the league as a great defender and rebounder for a point guard, and developed into an on-ball scorer and shooter in Atlanta.

Yet he also struggled to thrive when Trae Young was on the court, doing his best work when Young was injured or out of the game. The Raptors have another point guard they want to prioritize in Immanuel Quickley; would adding Murray simply create the same problem the Hawks have had?

The difference likely lies with Quickley here, not Murray. Trae Young is a player who forces the offense to revolve around himself, and he was unable to find his niche as an offball player. Quickley, on the other hand, learned to thrive alongside Jalen Brunson in New York and is a much better catch-and-shoot and movement player than Young. Quickley is also a much better defender than Young, so while a Quickley-Murray backcourt wouldn't be massive, they wouldn't be impossibly small, either.

Murray is not a slam dunk trade candidate, but he is an intriguing option at the right price. If the Toronto Raptors want to skip a few steps and accelerate their rebuild, Dejounte Murray, Karl-Anthony Towns and Gary Payton II could all be the answer to a swift return to the playoffs.

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