Surprise, surprise: the Toronto Raptors aren’t exactly the easiest front office to negotiate with.
Toronto sits 16-22 and 12th in the Eastern Conference, which is, to put it bluntly, not exactly where they expected to be at the start of the season.
Injury woes, poor shooting performances, and a porous defence have turned a perennial playoff team into, well, something more reminiscent of the mid-2000s Raptors.
And while Toronto could be set for a major move to part with a piece of their core, they don’t plan to part with a key piece for just any mediocre return.
Action Network‘s Matt Moore reported that Toronto’s speaking to teams around the league ahead of the February 9 deadline: but that doesn’t mean that their rivals are ready to bite just yet.
“League sources say Toronto is active in trade talks and open to moving players, but the asking prices have been described as ‘insane,’ ‘astronomical,’ and ‘far-fetched,'” Moore wrote in an article published Thursday.
Toronto’s front office combination of president Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster has made no shortage of moves in their NBA career, the largest of which was of course, the DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard swap (which also included Danny Green to Toronto as well as a pair of draft picks and Jakob Poeltl to the San Antonio Spurs).
Many options are still ahead for the 12th-place Raptors, who have yet to win three consecutive games this season.
Toronto isn’t that far out of a play-in spot, sitting just one game back of the tenth-place Bulls, and four-and-a-half games back out of sixth in the East (New York). They could, conceivably, turn the season around with their roster and maybe even add a rotation or two into the mix.
But heat has picked up among the fanbase into tanking for a top pick, possibly even landing French star Victor Wenbanyama who’s projected to go first overall this spring.
It’s not clear yet who exactly Toronto is planning on trading, or what the return and trading destination will end up being.
But whatever the Raptors do, don’t expect them to make any trades without upsetting a couple rival executives along the way.