Note: this post will consistently be updated when there are new rumors pertaining to the Raptors.
With Thursday’s NBA trade deadline looming, Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors have found themselves in discussion of trade talks once again. Sitting at 28-24, and atop of the Atlantic Division, Masai Ujiri’s subtraction of Rudy Gay has helped revamp this Raptors team, into a potential perennial threat in the Eastern Conference. There are many that seem to be pleased with this current Raptors group, suggesting that they should let the season play out, and see what kind of clatter they can do come playoff time.
Ujiri on the other hand, is still looking to do whatever he can to improve the state of this franchise in the long run, despite their immediate success this season. In saying so, Masai Ujiri may be presented with the opportunity to do exactly that.
ESPN has reported that the Golden State Warriors are interested in trading Harrison Barnes, and that Amir Johnson is one of their targets. An Amir for Barnes trade straight up might make sense, however there is no indication that the Raps are interested in this one. Stay tuned.
Ujiri apparently has interest in Kenneth Faried, one of his ex-draftees. This would be another indication that the Raps have a buyers mentality going into the deadline, and at this point it’s looking that a trade is more likely than not.
According to multiple reports, it appears as if Masai Ujiri is exploring the possibility in acquiring four-time All-Star, Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics. Although the need for a point-guard may not seem apparent, questioning the reigning Executive of the Year’s outlook is the last thing we should do.
As for the Boston Celtics, they’re currently in the midst of a rebuild after disassembling the roster that helped bring forth a championship to the city in 2008. With a record of 19-35 (good enough for 12th in the conference), the Boston Celtics are playing themselves to a lottery pick, and are focused in on the future. With Rondo being 27, and being against the result of a rebuild, trading him for the right price would only make sense for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics. Ainge’s asking price for Rondo is believed to be a couple of unprotected 1st-round picks, as well as a young and talented player.
While a trade for Rondo may seem farfetched right now (despite the current rumors), it’d be a definitive upgrade over Kyle Lowry. Rondo is one of the elite point-guards in today’s game, and would provide the Raptors with an elite-level talent for the first time since the days of Chris Bosh. Rondo has only played in 10 games this season, after being sidelined for just over a year thanks to a torn ACL, and is set to be a Free Agent in the summer of 2015. This deal could end up being quite the price for the Toronto Raptors, but it’d certainly be a step in the right direction in terms of setting themselves as a viable destination in the coming years.
Kyle Lowry has been a name that has been thrown around in tons of trade discussion/rumors this season, and it appears as if these next few days will be no different. Lowry is currently enjoying his best season of his nine-year NBA career, and has helped ignite some inspiring play, providing a great deal of leadership along the way as well. While his play has been a substantial lift for the Raps this season, he also happens to be an Unrestricted Free Agent come July as well, which could hinder the possibility of returning to Toronto next season. Lowry was poised to be the next domino to fall in Masai Ujiri’s attempt to alter the longevity of this Raptors’ franchise, as he found himself linked to various trade rumors.
The New York Knicks have been instilled in trade talks with Masai Ujiri since, in hopes of acquiring Lowry himself. James Dolan and NYK management have tried numerously to acquire Lowry, but have deemed the asking price as too high, especially with there being the possibility of him bolting in Free Agency. However, with the trade deadline just days away, talks have resurfaced with the New York Knicks, in hopes of them being a potential third party that would bring Rajon Rondo to Toronto. Although James Dolan has emphasized that he doesn’t want to part ways with rookie Tim Hardaway Jr., or a future 1st-round pick (surprise, surprise), the Knicks may be left without no choice. With the status of Carmelo Anthony’s future in New York up in the air, and them being on the outside looking in regarding a playoff spot in the East, the Knicks may be forced to do something to try and salvage the remainder of this season. Jeff Teague to Toronto in a three team deal that would send the Knicks’ Iman Shumpert is also apparently a possibility.