Grade the Trade: Raptors wash hands of costly blunder, add Pelicans star in new pitch

The Toronto Raptors are one of the teams that make sense as a landing spot for a young Pelicans star. Could they trade for Brandon Ingram this summer?
Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans
Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
1 of 3

Finding a trade partner for the Toronto Raptors is not always about starting with who the Raptors could target. Sometimes it's helpful to start with another team, see what player they are looking to trade, and then canvass the league for potential trade partners. Do the Raptors show up on that list?

For example, the Cleveland Cavaliers are likely looking to trade center Jarrett Allen. Would the Raptors be interested in Allen? Conceptually, sure -- he is an upgrade on Jakob Poeltl inside, and they were linked to him when he hit free agency a few years back. Yet other teams around the league would also be interested and certainly bid higher than the Raptors.

Trae Young is a hot name on the trade market, and teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic might be interested, but the Raptors are not. Toronto is on the list of players who would love to land Paul George, but the Oklahoma City Thunder or Philadelphia 76ers have more assets and more cap space, respectively, to get the job done.

The Toronto Raptors could lead the pack for this star

The New Orleans Pelicans have a team absolutely stuffed with talent and ability, but most of those players are essentially combo forwards. Between Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Herb Jones and Trey Murphy III, the Pelicans' four best players all play the same position. New Orleans has been shoehorning three of those players onto the court at the same time, but ideally, the team would move one of those players to get help at another position.

Brandon Ingram is the player that league insiders expect to be on the move this summer. The problem is that his fit around the league is not exceptionally clear. Which teams would be interested in Ingram and have the right player to build a package around?

When following that trail, it surprisingly leads back to Ontario. The Toronto Raptors stand out as a team that could be the perfect trade partner for the New Orleans Pelicans. Let's dig into the details of what such a trade could look like.