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
3 of 3

No. 2: Gabe Vincent, Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are juggling a lot of balls this summer, from negotiating with LeBron James to drafting Bronny James to trading for a star to integrating new head coach JJ Redick. In the midst of that activity, it seems almost certain that they will need to offload salary one way or another.

That could happen easily if D'Angelo Russell declines his player option and walks in free agency, but if Russell sticks around then Gabe Vincent becomes more superfluous and his $11 million salary this year and next more onerous. Vincent essentially had a lost season due to injury a year ago, and whether the Lakers trade for a point guard like Trae Young or sign someone like Chris Paul, Vincent's role is likely going to be given away.

The Toronto Raptors could use a backup point guard and can take Vincent into their Mid-Level Exception. Given his injury history and the two years remaining it would probably take a pair of seconds, but the Lakers may need to move him in a pinch and the number of suitors is unlikely to be high.

No. 1: Josh Green, Dallas Mavericks

Most of the players on this list have worked their way out of their teams' plans one way or the other, often due to injuries. Josh Green is the opposite, a player who played a key roles on an NBA Finals team this season and whom the Dallas Mavericks would love to keep around.

The problem is that they also want to keep Derrick Jones Jr. around, and since he played on a minimum this past season the Mavericks need to open up an exception of their own to make him a competitive offer. Their current books place them too close to the luxury tax apron to use the full MLE, meaning they need to move off of salary to have the freedom to bring back Jones.

They would surely love to trade Tim Hardaway Jr. away to free up that space, but he is likely to have a limited market. That could open up a buy-low opportunity for Toronto to swoop in, offer the Mavericks a second-round pick and add an athletic wing to their core. It's the kind of savvy move that can help a franchise build a winning team without bottoming out.

Whether it's a young up-and-comer like Josh Green or an aging lion like P.J. Tucker, the Raptors can now use their Mid-Level Exception in creative ways to continue building the best collection of players and assets to move toward the goal of contending once more.

7 Jakob Poeltl trades the Raptors must explore. 7 Jakob Poeltl trades the Raptors must explore. dark. Next