ReGrade the Trade: Raptors cripple their future by investing in towering center

Jakob Poeltl, Toronto Raptors
Jakob Poeltl, Toronto Raptors / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages
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Sometimes the right decision is obvious to everyone but the one closest to it.

Roughly 13 months ago, the Toronto Raptors faced something of a crossroads. They had an entire half-season of proof that their current group wasn't good enough to contend. All-Star point guard Fred VanVleet was heading for unrestricted free agency, OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam had 1.5 seasons left on their deals, and it looked like the highly-respected front office was going to pull the plug and enter a rebuild around promising second-year point guard Scottie Barnes.

VanVleet would have been a highly-desired option on the trade market. OG Anunoby reportedly did receive a number of trade offers. Pascal Siakam was an All-NBA forward with proven championship experience. While the pieces weren't fitting in Toronto, each of them appeared to be valuable on their own and could thrive in new locations. It seemed clear the time was right for a teardown.

That's not at all what they did.

Setting the stage for a Raptors trade

Instead of beginning a rebuild, or at least a retooling, Masai Ujiri surprisingly doubled-down. Rather than sell he became a buyer. The Raptors traded for Jakob Poeltl, a hulking center drafted by the Raptors and sent to the San Antonio Spurs in the Kawhi Leonard deal. Now they were bringing him back, sending out precious draft capital in the process.

A year later, does that trade look like a win? Or has a deal that looked questionable at the time continued to age poorly? Let's dig into the details of the deal and "Re-grade" the trade to see just how badly the Raptors messed things up.