Grade the Trade: Raptors shed unwanted salary, add key veteran in new mock deal

Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers
Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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In the modern NBA, it's nearly impossible to field a successful postseason team with multiple players on the court who cannot shoot. NBA front offices have to build rosters with as many shooters as possible, and head coaches have to craft rotations from those rosters that maximize floor spacing.

The Toronto Raptors have not always done that well. They certainly did in 2019, when Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet and Danny Green spaced the court around Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam, and even the addition of center Marc Gasol added a big who was comfortable taking 3-pointers. That floor-spacing was a major component in their run to the championship.

The Raptors have done well to add players such as Gradey Dick and Kelly Olynyk in the last year to help to space the court around Scottie Barnes. Heading into this summer they need to continue to lean into that mission.

One way to accomplish that goal is to use Bruce Brown's contract to bring back a proven shooter in the trade market. Brown will be making $23 million next season if the Raptors exercise his team option, and they should only do so if they feel confident in his trade market.

Raptors could use Bruce Brown in a trade

The Raptors could use Brown in a major swing for a star, but another path is to use him to bring in a well-paid (or even overpaid) starter who can space the court and bring production and experience to the lineup.

What sorts of players fit that description? One such player is Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant, who is signed to a large long-term contract and playing on a rebuilding team that could look to move off of him at a reasonable price.

Let's see what a trade for Grant would look like and evaluate whether it would make sense for the Raptors to make the deal.