The Toronto Raptors are open for business as the Trade Deadline inches closer, which could mean that veterans beyond Bruce Brown and Gary Trent Jr. could be on the move. In an extreme case, Jakob Poeltl or Dennis Schroder could end up finding new homes relatively soon.
With Toronto looking to build for the future and two veterans in Schroder and Poeltl likely not considered untouchable, Masai Ujiri and the front office would be wise to at least pick up the phone and hear out other teams.
A team like the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are in the middle of a championship push and have more draft picks than they know what to do with, could make for an interesting trade partner. At least, they could if they offer more in a deal than the collection of flotsam ESPN proposed they part with.
ESPN's Andre Snellings proposed a trade that sends Poeltl and Schroder back to Oklahoma City in exchange for three players who are completely out of the Thunder rotation (Aleksej Pokusevski, Davis Bertans, Tre Mann) and one fringe player in Aaron Wiggins. Toronto is getting four draft picks in this deal, but is it worth the loss?
Grade the Trade: Raptors proposal for Jakob Poeltl trade with Thunder is weird
Where to even begin with this? Sure, getting extra draft picks is quite nice, especially when you're adding four of them for two veteran players, but this would leave the Raptors without a center on the roster. Picks are important, but selling low on these two would take a sledgehammer to this roster.
None of the players Toronto would get back in this deal would even sniff the rotation. Bertans is one of the worst contracts in the league and barely plays, Pokusevski has played in 48 minutes of action this season, and Mann's fall from grace has relegated him to mop-up duty. That trio has combined for 36 games this season, almost all of which were mop-up duty.
Wiggins is fine, but a 25-year-old averaging less than 6.0 points per game being the best player in a trade for a quality starting center in Poeltl and a serviceable Sixth Man point guard in Schroder is laughable. Even if OKC gives up a lottery pick, the value of this deal would be somewhat questionable.
Giving up two quality veterans who can help this team next year for a bunch of scraps who never play and picks that will be used on finding replacements for Poeltl and Schroder is a destructive trade for the Raptors. Trading them is not an outlandish idea, but the return must be better than this.