Grade the Trade: Raptors join Trae Young deal, add former All-Star in new proposal

The Toronto Raptors can get creative this summer in joining 3-team trades, such as this one involving Trae Young and the Lakers.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
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The Toronto Raptors have a unique opportunity this summer, if they choose to take advantage of it.

The Raptors are not yet ready to load to load up and try to contend in the Eastern Conference. While they hope that Scottie Barnes will one day be the No. 1 star they need to do so, he certainly is not at that level yet. Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett and Jakob Poeltl are solid starters, but none have taken the leap into stardom necessary to drive a 50-win team.

Yet the Raptors also don't look like a team trying to tear everything down and compete right now. They flipped OG Anunoby for established young players in Quickley and Barrett rather than a package of draft picks, they hung onto Poeltl, and they haven't yet traded veteran wing Bruce Brown. That may give them the opportunity to mimic another well-run team as they tread water in the in-between space next season.

The Raptors can have as much as $40 million in cap space this summer; more realistically, they will have around $27 million if they retain Quickley and let Bruce Brown walk, or they can operate as an over-the-cap team if Brown stays and is traded.

Either way, their space below the luxury tax will give them flexibility in facilitating trades to take on money, receiving assets back to allow other teams to conduct business and offload money. If they take on veteran players in the deal that's no problem, as the Raptors will be trying to win games next season but also are fine not maximizing the fit and competitiveness of their roster next season.

How do the Raptors use their flexibility this summer?

Just such an opportunity was recently pitched in a Trae Young trade proposal where the Raptors could step in and be that third team, taking back some money and receiving prospects and picks for their troubles. This proposal would send Young to the Los Angeles Lakers as they arm themselves for one final run with LeBron James.

Let's look at the specifics of the trade and see whether the Raptors are well-compensated for helping to make it happen.