Grade the Trade: Raptors land broken former star in massive three-team proposal

Mikal Bridges and Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets
Mikal Bridges and Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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Grading this terrible trade from Toronto's side

Taking a step back from the particulars of this trade, the concept makes a lot of sense. The Toronto Raptors are not going to go from disintegrating lottery team to playoff contender in one season. It makes sense for them to be patient, use their cap space to take on bad money, and move on from veterans like Bruce Brown, Chris Boucher and even Jakob Poeltl should the right trade materialize.

The problem is that this deal accomplishes absolutely none of that. They take on the bad contract of Ben Simmons for absolutely zero assets, instead moving on from Brown and Boucher. Brown has a team option for next season, so if the Raptors don't see a deal to get back an asset for him they can simply let him walk in free agency. Their swap with the Nets significantly limits their cap space for no return.

The swap with the Hawks is at least in the realm of sanity, but it still doesn't move the needle. Jakob Poeltl is a better player than Clint Capela and younger; if the Raptors are going to trade him it's because they want either the financial flexibility or to get younger, but instead this deal makes them older at center. They get Kobe Bufkin back, who went 15th overall in last year's draft, but he would go later in a redraft and certainly doesn't make up for the disaster that would be taking back Ben Simmons.

If the Nets want to discuss draft compensation for taking on Ben Simmons? That's a reasonable path to follow. If the Hawks want to trade for Jakob Poeltl and can separate out the trade, with Capela and Bufkin being sent for Poeltl, it's worth discussing.

This combination, however, is a clear disaster for the Raptors. They get no draft capital, their books are crammed with bad money, and they essentially discard Bruce Brown for nothing except money on their books. There is a clear loser in this trade, and it's Toronto. The Hawks can remake their team and the Nets can dump Ben Simmons while duping some other team than the Raptors.

Grade: D-