With less than a month to go to the NBA trade deadline, the Toronto Raptors are being watched by just about every other NBA franchise.
And that appears to extend past front offices, but actually to players on other teams.
New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum is among those expecting the Raptors to make a trade in the coming weeks ahead of the February 3 NBA deadline.
“In terms of what they need or what they’re lacking, something’s gonna happen. There’s rumblings about certain players on the team not being happy and due to tampering, I can’t speak to that but I think they’re gonna move someone,” McCollum said on a recent episode of his self-titled ESPN podcast.
— O.G.OOSE (@hoopgoose) January 16, 2023
While he’s never been an All-Star, McCollum has long been respected as a voice around the league. This past season, ESPN ranked him #45 on their list of top 100 NBA players, ahead of all but three Raptors (Scottie Barnes, Fred VanVleet, and Pascal Siakam). He also currently serves as the president of the NBA Players’ Association.
McCollum was formerly teammates with Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. during their time with the Portland Trail Blazers, but that’s only one possible lead as to which player he could be referencing.
Trent Jr. has seen his name pop up in trade rumours due to the possibility he could hit free agency this summer if he declines his player option with Toronto.
At least publicly though, Trent Jr. has always spoken about his desire to help the current Raptors’ roster.
“Just trying to string along as many consistent games as I can, to showcase my work, what I can do, how I can help this team. Really just going out there and trying to play hard,” Trent Jr. said in a recent post-game press conference earlier this month. “Whether that’s starting, whether that’s coming off the bench, whatever it’s gonna be, just gonna go out there and play.”
Another player McCollum could be referencing is O.G. Anunoby, who was the subject of offseason rumours that he was unhappy with Toronto, though Anunoby said those rumours surprised him at the team’s media day earlier this year.
For now, it’s mostly a waiting game for Raptors fans (and seemingly the rest of the NBA) to see if a move is in store over the next few weeks.
The full podcast episode is available here: