Grade the Trade: Raptors lose Quickley but add new prospects in magical proposal

If a team swoops in to sign away Immanuel Quickley, they could make an offer for a sign and trade to make it worth the Toronto Raptors' while.
Immanuel Quickley, Toronto Raptors
Immanuel Quickley, Toronto Raptors / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages
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What should the Raptors do?

The Toronto Raptors could have traded OG Anunoby for trade packages loaded with future draft picks or raw draft prospects. Instead, they accepted the package that had an established young point guard who projected as a breakout star if separated from Jalen Brunson. Quickley didn't turn into a 30-point-per-game scorer on the Raptors, but he certainly played extremely well after arriving on the team.

Toronto wants to build around Quickley as their second foundation stone alongside Scottie Barnes, but they certainly hope to do so by working out a contract a step or two down from the maximum amount. In this situation, they are forced with a decision: pay Quickley the max, or accept this trade return to let him walk.

The benefits of accepting the trade are twofold. First, it would save them a lot of money. Anthony Black is entering his second season, giving Toronto three more years of rookie-scale payments before he is due for a raise. Caleb Houstan is making just $2 million this season before a $2.1 million team option in 2025-26. This deal would instantly open up flexibility under the cap and under the tax to make improvement to the team.

At the same time, it would also allow them to slow down the timeline a bit. Black was the No. 6 pick a year ago, a long-limbed defender and playmaker who needs to develop his jumpshot to make it in the NBA long-term but boasts a lot of upside. He also won't turn 21 until 2025. If Toronto wants to pump the brakes, trade a few more veterans and fully commit to rebuilding the roster for another year or two, this would be one way to accomplish that.

At the same time, this is a disappointing return for a player who could be an All-Star one day, and Anthony Black is a terrible fit to place around Scottie Barnes; the Raptors need shooting from their other core pieces, and that's Black's biggest weakness. If faced with this decision, the Raptors may need to bite the bullet and offer Quickley a maximum contract (or something very close) and figure out the rest from there.

The Raptors put themselves in this position when they traded for Quickley, a good young player but one about to get expensive. They should reasonably expect to negotiate a deal at less than the max, but if Quickley and his camp can find another suitor, they need to be ready to pay up. If not, letting him walk at a bargain, while better than nothing, represents a failure of foresight when trading OG Anunoby.

Grade: C-

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