A Toronto Raptors trade with the Heat or 76ers? Evaluating the potential prospects

Title: A Toronto Raptors trade with the Heat or 76ers? Evaluating the potential prospects
Date: March 24, 2021
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I broke down (and kind of ranked) the picks and prospects the Raptors could get back in a trade with Philadelphia or Miami.

We have talked a lot in recent weeks about potential Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell trade frameworks. In working through those hypotheticals, we’ve thrown out several possible players and picks that could come back. While we wait for whatever may happen these next 24 hours, I thought it would be helpful to contextualize how these different assets measure up against each other.

First, I wanted to take a quick look at why I’ve written about the value in replenishing the asset pipeline. It’s not just about selling high or cashing in on a lost season, and it’s not just about adding what future picks could become to the current core. Picks and prospects also represent trade currency for the next deal, they represent an inexpensive way to fill out the depth chart and they represent a way to shift the ceiling of a core higher, since those assets are earlier on their development curve.

The lack of pipeline has been obvious this season. The Raptors remain a strong player development system, but there’s a big difference between developing late firsts and trying to turn undrafted players into rotation pieces at a high clip. Fred VanVleet and Chris Boucher are exceptions, not expectations. Even Paul Watson Jr., maybe the Raptors’ seventh- or eighth-best player the last month, is a high-water mark for draft-less success. Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby were late firsts. Delon Wright, Terrence Ross, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas were first-round picks the Raptors developed into a winning system and then leveraged for even better pieces. Jakob Poeltl was a recent lottery pick.

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