Grade the Trade: Raptors add former All-Star for free in latest Bleacher idea

The Toronto Raptors could use their cap space to buy low on a former All-Star in Bleacher Report's latest trade idea. Should they pull the trigger?
Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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The Toronto Raptors could take a page out of the Oklahoma City Thunder's playbook this summer.

The Thunder built one of the youngest and deepest contenders in NBA history through a combination of draft picks, savvy signings and shrewd trades. One of Sam Presti's go-to moves when the Thunder were rebuilding was to use cap space to take on a solid veteran player whose team needed to shed salary, rehabilitate that player, then turn around and trade them for positive value down the road.

Chris Paul looked to be on the last legs of his career, was traded to the Thunder, and led them to the playoffs and set the stage for another strong chapter in his mid-to-late 30s with the Phoenix Suns. Al Horford was dumped on the Thunder, played a season bombing away from deep, then was traded to the Boston Celtics. Buy low at the right time and you create value simply through the passage of time.

The Raptors could help teams shed salary

The Toronto Raptors can take a similar approach to using their cap space this summer. Especially with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement making it increasingly punitive to have a high team salary, teams will need to move off of salary to have a shot at changing the makeup of their team. That's where the Raptors come in.

Toronto can take on a veteran player on a large contract while sending back significantly less salary, perhaps even none at all. In some scenarios they would be paid in draft capital for that service; in others, depending on the player being dealt, they might add a good player for free.

Let's look at one such trade idea, presented by Bleacher Report, where the Raptors would take on the salary of a former All-Star for free. Would the trade make sense for Toronto? Let's take a closer look.