Title: Breaking down the Raptors’ trade season scenarios
Date: December 12, 2017
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I outlined the financial factors the Raptors will have to keep in mind as NBA trade season gets into swing.
Trade season is almost upon the NBA in earnest. A detail in the collective bargaining agreement prevents teams from trading players they signed during the off-season until Dec. 15 (or three months after signing, whichever is later), and so Dec. 15 is often held up as a sort of de facto kick-off to the league’s two-month trade window. Deals can happen before then, like in the case of last week’s Jahlil Okafor trade, it’s just that as of Friday, the bulk of the league is eligible to be dealt, so the possibilities expand a great deal.
Full disclosure: This piece was originally planned for Friday, matching up with the Dec. 15 date. Honestly, though, did you really want to watch a video breakdown of the ugliest Toronto Raptors game of the season? (if the answer is ‘yes,’ this is the most I can offer you for today.) And because that ugly loss came in Jonas Valanciunas’ best game of the season, against a name (DeAndre Jordan) who people have asked me about frequently as a potential Raptors trade target, the timing seems fine enough. This is also something we’ll revisit closer to the trade deadline, so feel free to file it away for now.
So, trade season, as it pertains to the Raptors. It’s the time of year when I often play a role I don’t relish, as a sort of clearinghouse for trade ideas. The CBA rules are complicated and messy, and it’s difficult for fans to keep up with all of the wrinkles. That’s especially true since ESPN’s Trade Machine – at the same time the greatest and worst invention ever – only approves/declines trades based on some of the trade restrictions. In each of the last few seasons, I’ve had a February column laundering readers’ trade proposals through logic and the CBA. In 2015-16, specifically, it was difficult, as the Raptors weren’t built particularly well to trade, with very few mid-level salaries and poison-pill provisions for Terrence Ross and Jonas Valanciunas. Last year was the most flexibility the team had to trade in some time, and they jumped, which served to close that window a bit for this season.