NBA teams think a Raptors trade could "set the market": report

Jan 4 2023, 5:06 pm

It’s pretty inarguable that Toronto Raptors have a collection of really solid players.

But it doesn’t take an expert to realize that something’s a little broken within their core right now.

Pinpointing the team’s issues is easy: poor three-point shooting, defensive effort (or a lack thereof), or just a lack of offensive cohesion.

But figuring out how to fix them is a whole other dilemma.

It’s been a slow decline for the Raptors down the NBA standings, who currently sit 12th in the Eastern Conference.

In pro sports, sometimes it’s simply a “change of scenery” type trade that reinvigorates a roster.

Will they trade Gary Trent Jr. or even Fred VanVleet in an effort to spark a new life into the roster, even if the front office considers this season a wash? Well, it’s a waiting game, with only so many days left until the February 9 trade deadline.

And it appears that NBA executives feel the same way, with just about every team keeping their eyes on the Raptors’ activity, per Sportsnet’s Michael Grange.

“Toronto are the first domino,” Grange reported from a league source. “What they do will affect teams all across the league: Dallas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Atlanta – not that it’s about deals with any particular team, just that people are going to be waiting to see what the Raptors do before they make their moves. Toronto could set the market.”

Grange added that “the rest of the league is waiting anxiously” to see what Toronto will do.

“The problem is that according to multiple league sources, with the season approaching the halfway point, an obvious path forward hasn’t materialized,” Grange wrote. “Instead of things becoming clearer, the waters seem even more cloudy.”

Toronto has 19 games between now and the trade deadline, which is still plenty of time to turn their struggling season around.

Kicking it off with their first home game in 2023, the Raptors play host to the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at 7:30 pm ET.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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