Grade the Trade: Raptors get back savvy Aussie for SG who was leaving anyway in pitch

Gary Trent Jr., Toronto Raptors and Joe Ingles, Orlando Magic
Gary Trent Jr., Toronto Raptors and Joe Ingles, Orlando Magic / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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Grading the trade for Toronto

The first question that the Toronto Raptors need to ask is whether or not they want to bring Gary Trent Jr. back. If they do, then accepting a relatively mild offer from another team to facilitate a sign-and-trade would not make sense. Instead, the Raptors should try to hope Trent can't find a team willing to sign him outright and use that leverage to convince him to stay.

In any other scenario, however, this becomes a different kind of trade. It's no longer the Orlando Magic compensating the Raptors for Gary Trent Jr. but rather the Magic compensating the Raptors for taking on the contract of Joe Ingles. If the Magic are moving him to use their cap space or room under the tax in other ways, they are asking the Raptors to do the same.

Trading Trent and taking back salary prevents the Raptors from maximizing their cap space this window, perhaps to go after a singular star or to add multiple pieces. If they see a path to a player like that then they probably wouldn't make this deal. More likely, however, this summer is not the one to take a swing on the market, and instead Toronto can look to use their cap space to take on money from other teams.

That's essentially what this deal would be. It is relatively low-cost to Orlando, as Ingles will have just one single season remaining at $11 million. While his game is not what it used to be and he will turn 37 years old before the start of next season, his passing, shooting and knowledge of the game are all still present and he would be a positive voice in the locker room and in mentoring their young core.

The draft picks coming back are not very valuable, but getting a first back for $11 million of not-entirely-dead salary is a fine move, and all signs point to Trent leaving this summer anyway. This is probably a deal worth taking.

Grade: B+

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