The Toronto Raptors are expected by many to start looking at a more earnest rebuild, as it looks like a core centered around Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes together might not have enough firepower to compete. However, it would be foolish to underestimate Masai Ujiri's belief in a roster he spent a lot of time constructing.
Ujiri is always on the lookout for win-now players, and teams that could end up at the bottom of the standings might get a call from Masai in the near future. The Memphis Grizzlies, who have struggled mightily after the Ja Morant suspension and Steven Adams injury could be getting a call.
The Grizzlies have tons of players that could be sent away for future assets, especially if former Memphis assistant Darko Rajakovic wants to reunite with players he has coached in the past. If Toronto wants to win now, Memphis could send them an ideal trade candidate in shooting guard Luke Kennard.
Even the most casual observation of the Raptors can see they lack tremendous 3-point shooting consistency and skill, and the idea of bringing Kennard into the fray to supplement their offense could be an easy fix to a problem that is preventing the offense from truly taking shape.
The Toronto Raptors must consider a Luke Kennard trade.
Kennard is fresh off leading the league in 3-point percentage two years in a row, drilling an obscene 49% of his 3-pointers last year while nailing over 53% after his trade to Memphis. A relatively low-usage player with postseason experience, the Raptors need a player like Kennard in the worst way.
Toronto likely invested in Gradey Dick with the belief that he would be able to fix their 3-point shooting woes as a trusted bench gunner, but he looks to be much more of a work in progress than they likely anticipated he would be. Kennard, meanwhile, would come in right away and cook.
Kennard has a $14 million club option for next season that will almost assuredly be picked up, meaning the acquisition of the former Duke star is as much about next season as this one. Toronto doesn't have a ton of assets to part with, but they don't need to mortgage the future for Kennard.
Kennard is not a perfect solution to all of their problems, and he might cost a bit, but the Raptors need shooting more than any team in the league, and there won't be a better shooter on the market.