Grade the Trade: Raptors add familiar Warriors star in misguided pitch

Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors / Alex Bierens de Haan/GettyImages
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Grade the Trade: Would Raptors reject this deal?

We'll start with the positives, because they are brief. This trade would add a first-round pick to the Raptors' coffers as they look to rebuild their team, and they could flip Kevon Looney and Gary Payton II for a handful of second-round picks. Andrew Wiggins is much better than he has shown this season and his shooting could be a good complement to Scottie Barnes as they make an exceptional defensive tandem in the frontcourt.

Now for the negatives: the Raptors get fleeced in this trade. Even if the Raptors do believe that Wiggins will bounce back, this season he has been a sub-replacement player and is under contract for another three seasons; he will make $30 million in 2026-27. Perhaps he gets back to deserving that salary, but Wiggins' contract is currently a negative value in a trade. Looney and Payton are not much help to the Raptors if they are not trying to win next season.

Jakob Poeltl is not having an All-Defense season but he is an incredibly solid rim protector, and he is a classic rim-runner on offense with underrated passing ability. Bruce Brown is not worth his $23 million salary for next season, but if he has negative trade value the Raptors will simply decline his team option and let him walk.

That's hardly the situation where Toronto has to take on a bad contract like Andrew Wiggins and in return get a mediocre first-round pick and two players who won't matter to the next good Raptors team. This is a trade where the salaries match, and plays off of a supposed sentimentality in the Raptors' front office to bring home Canadiens, but in the end would be a disaster for the Raptors to make.

Grade: D

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