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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Should the Raptors make this trade?

The Toronto Raptors are straddling the middle-ground of their roster makeover, not prioritizing winning now but also not tearing everything down. Does that approach mean they are committed to keeping Kelly Olynyk, whom they traded for and extended just this past trade deadline? Or would they move him in a trade if the price was right? His new extension may make him even more attractive as a proven producer under contract for multiple seasons.

The other thing that the Raptors give up in this trade is cap space, but it’s largely just their space for this season, and not that much of it. The players returning to Toronto in this deal — D’Angelo Russell, Garrison Mathews and Jalen Hood-Schifino — make $6.1 million more than Olynyk and Jalen McDaniels heading out. As long as the Raptors stay below the luxury tax apron this season, they can stay above the cap and absorb the extra salary using the new matching salary rules, or use cap space first and then consummate this deal.

In exchange for taking on that salary and the potential headache that is an unhappy D’Angelo Russell, the Raptors would get last year’s No. 17 pick, Jalen Hood-Schifino, who dealt with injuries last year and is essentially a throw-in to the deal. The 2030 first-round swap is the most valuable piece, as the Lakers could easily be worse than the spending Toronto Raptors be then. Garrison Mathews is a useful bench wing, and Russell can be a strong scorer and passer at times.

The Raptors could sign or draft a stretch big to replace Olynyk, or sign someone in free agency. The Raptors probably will need to either use cap space or forgo the Full Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception to keep enough room under the luxury tax if they make this deal, which is reasonable. They still maintain the flexibility to sign a player with cap space or to instead keep Bruce Brown around, either to trade or rehabilitate. 

This deal therefore offers very low risk and plenty of benefits. If that Raptors have a huge swing to make, either via free agency or on the trade market, this deal may not make sense. Otherwise, this is strong value for sending out the veteran Olynyk, and they have a chance to flip Russell at the deadline if a deal materializes. Toronto should think long and hard about this opportunity to jump into a three-team deal with Trae Young and the Lakers and come out on top. 

Grade: B+

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