Title: Should the Raptors trade one of their draft picks? What could they get in return?
Date: May 26, 2021
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I took a look at the Raptors options if they wanted to trade their lottery pick or second rounders, and what recent precedent says about the possible return.
The Toronto Raptors haven’t had a lottery pick since 2016 when they selected Jakob Poeltl at No. 9 with a pick owed to them by the New York Knicks from the Andrea Bargnani trade (seriously). They haven’t had a lottery pick of their own since 2012 when they selected Terrence Ross at No. 8. And so naturally, when the Raptors have their first true lottery pick of the Masai Ujiri era, you knuckleheads want to trade it.
Which is, in some ways, entirely understandable. Ujiri’s front office inherited a core with multiple lottery picks on the roster and out an additional one, the cost of landing Kyle Lowry. From there, they built with that core, tweaking at first and later making aggressive moves to improve. Nowhere in that process did they need a lottery pick, save for the one used on Poeltl. It was a well-told tale that the 2019 NBA champion Raptors won the title without a single lottery pick on their roster, a modern roster-building anomaly. Since Ujiri took over in 2013, the Raptors have traded away 16 draft picks and used 10, only four of whom remain on the roster.
It stands to reason, then, if you’re optimistic about where the current core is positioned for a non-Tampa 2021-22 season, that you’d see a lottery pick as much as a trade chip as anything else.