4 Bruce Brown trades for Raptors to flip veteran guard to a contender

The Toronto Raptors picked up Bruce Brown's team option, an expected move to set them up for a trade. What deals could they make to send Brown to a contender?
Bruce Brown, Toronto Raptors
Bruce Brown, Toronto Raptors / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Trade No. 4: Bruce Brown is heading to Cajun Country

Finally we come to the New Orleans Pelicans, a team in the process of reshaping their roster after trading for onetime All-Star guard Dejounte Murray. Adding the two-way point guard gives them the boost in the backcourt that they needed, but it also fails to address their massive need at center. After signaling they plan to move on from Jonas Valanciunas and trading Larry Nance Jr. in the Murray trade, the Pelicans have a raw rookie in Yves Missi as their only center right now.

Their best path to adding that center is to trade one of CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram. Extension talks between the Pelicans and Ingram have stalled, and he seems like the most likely "star" player to be traded at this point in the summer. Could the Raptors offer a trade package that entices the Pelicans to move their prolific scorer up north?

Here is a trade that might just meet enough needs for New Orleans to be interested:

Brown Poeltl to Pels for Ingram

Breaking this deal down for New Orleans, they get a strong rim protector and pick-and-roll partner in Jakob Poeltl, the kind of starting center they have reportedly been searching for on the trade market. Bruce Brown is a solid rotation option and a trade candidate at the deadline if the Pelicans see a different path to an upgrade. Adding the value of both Brown and Poeltl together and adding the Pacers' 2026 pick gets close enough to Ingram's real value for New Orleans to think about it.

For Toronto, this is a gamble that Brandon Ingram is the perfect fit next to Scottie Barnes. RJ Barrett can slide to shooting guard and the Raptors can bet on offensive production, essentially that four perimeter players who can dribble, pass and score will overwhelm opponents enough that a shaky defense won't kill them. All four are fine defenders but only Barnes is an elite one, and they would be losing Poeltl's backline defense.

In this construction the Raptors ask the Pelicans to include Valanciunas in a sign-and-trade for a modest contract of three years, $8 million to return to Toronto and start at center until they identify a better long-term option. This deal would be guaranteed for two years and non-guaranteed for the final season.

This is a big move for a team that would be better served being patient, but making bets on talent is usually a smart approach in building a team, and Ingram could take a step forward in a different context. This isn't a no-brainer deal, but it's intriguing and could put together an ensemble cast capable of growing together and making noise in the Eastern Conference.

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