Title: What can the Raptors do at the trade deadline? A primer on their assets, trade rules and more
Date: January 17, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote my annual trade deadline primer, explaining what assets the Raptors have, what the trade rules they must operate within are, and more.
This time of year always comes so quickly. It feels early still and yet here we are, just under three weeks away from the NBA trade deadline. Teams have until 3 p.m. on Feb. 6 to reshape their rosters via the trade market, possibly in ways that change the course of the entire playoffs and lead to an NBA championship. If you can remember any such examples.
The Raptors find themselves in a somewhat murky position ahead of the deadline. Once Kawhi Leonard left in the summer, whether the Raptors would — or should — be buyers or sellers became a popular topic. Those who didn’t believe in the remaining roster being competitive thought Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka were bound for the trade market, where they could return at least modest assets that would help the Raptors return to true title contention in the medium-term. Those who remained high on the roster — or wanted to bask in the championship afterglow a while longer, or both — advocated for a run-it-back approach.
Masai Ujiri and company went with the latter and the results have been resounding: Not only were the Raptors good enough to continue on as a competitor near the top of a feisty Eastern Conference, they were good enough to do so while dealing with myriad injuries, often several at a time. The Raptors sit at 26-14 as of this writing, firmly in the mix for home-court advantage in the first round and within striking distance of a very valuable No. 2 seed.
Check it out on The Athletic.