3 Raptors who flubbed their chance at a larger role this season

Bruce Brown, Toronto Raptors
Bruce Brown, Toronto Raptors / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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No. 1: Bruce Brown

The Portland Trail Blazers finally made their move about a month before the start of the regular season, trading Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks for a package that included All-Star guard Jrue Holiday. Rather than try to shoehorn in a third team to reroute Holiday, the Blazers let the trade go through and then separately shopped Holiday, finding the best package and moving him to the Boston Celtics.

The Toronto Raptors were trying to follow the same game plan this season. They traded Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers and got back a package that included veteran Bruce Brown, a player just months removed from winning the title as a key member of the Denver Nuggets. The tanking Raptors didn't need Brown for the rest of the season, but they executed the Siakam trade early enough to shop Brown around the league and get the best potential package from a contender.

That deal did not come to pass at the Trade Deadline, whether from a lack of suitors or an irrationally-high asking price from Masai Ujiri. It is possible that the Raptors' front office hoped to showcase Brown over the rest of the season and have another opportunity to shop him this offseason. That did not work out so well.

Brown has been one of the team's worst players since joining the team, a bold statement for a roster put through the blender and at times starting 10-day players. Brown can't hit a shot, is playing passively on defense and has been a negative presence on nearly every lineup he has been in.

The Raptors may still find a trade suitor, but it is increasingly likely that they will decline Brown's team option for next season and let him walk in free agency, where he will almost certainly take a pay cut due to a shaky year overall. It's not what Brown or the Raptors hoped for, and given the money at stake it makes Brown the Toronto player who most flubbed his chance at playing time this season.

3 Players that deserve more playing time next season. 3 Players that deserve more playing time next season. dark. Next