The Toronto Raptors are trying to unturn every stone as they attempt to find trade suitors for impending free agents like Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, and the Sacramento Kings might be willing to part with enough tangible assets to get Masai Ujiri interested in making a deal.
The Kings have one of the best guards in the league in De'Aaron Fox and a tremendous big in Domantas Sabonis, but they need one more difference-maker to set themselves apart. If they want either of these two Raptors, especially Siakam, they will need to surrender a valuable young star.
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Raptors are insisting on acquiring former No. 4 overall pick Keegan Murray in any trade with the Kings. Considering how either Anunoby or Siakam would likely take their starting spot, this move makes sense from a logical standpoint.
However, the Kings would need to be so extremely bullish on their short-term future that they part ways with one of the more promising young forwards in the game for someone who would likely be a rental. Is that a sacrifice Monte McNair would be willing to make at the deadline this season?
NBA rumors: Toronto Raptors targeting Keegan Murray in Pascal Siakam trade talks.
Murray is averaging 13.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game with Sacramento in a solid second season. The most puzzling part of this season for Murray has been his shooting, as the well-regarded sniper went from shooting 41% on 3-pointers last year to just 30% this year on the same volume.
Murray has played more like a traditional small forward in Sacramento. If he plays a similar role in Toronto, that could free up Scottie Barnes to assume Siakam's old schematic role and use his athleticism to get mismatches every trip down the floor in the post. Murray would also be a major boost to the team's shooting and spacing.
Due to the money both Siakam and Anunoby are making, not only would Sacramento need to part with Murray, but they would also need to duct tape multiple bench players together. Fischer also added that Toronto is seeking a whopping three first-round picks and a depth player alongside Murray.
This move would send the Raptors fully into rebuild mode and help throw Sacramento's contention window wide open. If the Kings believe in one of Toronto's forwards that strongly, Murray might be on his way to a new home north of the border.