5 Trade targets the Raptors can now pursue after changes to the rules

A new rule for the NBA this year allows teams to use the Mid-Level Exception to receive traded players. Which players can the Raptors now pursue in a trade?
Josh Green, Dallas Mavericks and Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Josh Green, Dallas Mavericks and Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages
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No. 4: Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies have big expectations to bounce back this season after suspensions and injuries absolutely devastated their team last year. Ja Morant, Marcus Smart and Desmond Bane should all be healthy heading into next season, and the Grizzlies have reportedly been searching for a starting center via trade, free agency or the draft to start alongside Jaren Jackson Jr. in the frontcourt.

There is a good chance the Grizzlies will need to therefore offload the salary of Brandon Clarke to add a difference-maker at starting center, a role that Memphis has never quite been comfortable handing to Clarke. He is still a solid rotation big even after his Achilles injury, and the Raptors could use Clarke as well as taking back his salary, which is close to fair for his level of production.

Clarke does have three seasons left on his contract at $12.5 million per year, but given that he is a valuable player and fills a need on the Raptors, taking him on for a single second-round pick seems like a fair deal all around.

No. 3: Robert Williams III, Portland Trail Blazers

The Grizzlies were bad and expensive last year but expect to be good this year; the Portland Trail Blazers are somehow bad and expensive and expect to be terrible again this year. Internally they may have high hopes for the year, but one way or another this team needs to offload salary to avoid the luxury tax for a team not going anywhere this season.

The team is open to trade offers for Jerami Grant and could look to move Malcolm Brogdon or Matisse Thybulle, but the easiest trade candidate to find a home for is Robert Williams III. Recently a starter for a contending Boston Celtics team, Williams has battled injuries the past two seasons and likely doesn't factor into Portland's long-term plans anymore.

The Raptors could take on the $26 million owed him over the next two seasons for a pair of second-round picks or perhaps a bad first-round pick depending on how motivated the Blazers are to move on from him. If Williams cannot get healthy the Raptors got some draft cpaital for their troubles. If he can get healthy, however, they have a player they can flip to another team or perhaps even a replacement for Jakob Poeltl.