Believe it or not, the three trades made by the Toronto Raptors on Thursday constitute the busiest deadline day in franchise history. Still, while the Norman Powell trade certainly moves the needle, the real news coming out of the day was the team’s inability to find a workable trade involving Kyle Lowry, keeping the birthday boy around until at least season’s end.
As a result, the Raptors find themselves in something of an awkward middle ground, spending their next 28 games absent a key scorer while still being led by Lowry, a player they were clearly set to part ways with.
Fortunately, apart from a recent bit of ugly internal tension, the franchise remains a professional, veteran unit capable of blocking out such distractions and focusing on the task at hand.
More interesting will be broader personnel decisions. No more than 48 hours ago, the club appeared ready to throw in the towel on the season. Now, they still have Lowry and they showed that they know how to win, flexing some muscle in a blowout victory over the pre-Aaron Gordon Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.
Will the Toronto Raptors continue to add pieces?
The Raps sit only 1.5 games out of a spot in the play-in tournament in the East. Losing Powell hurts (less so for Terence Davis and Matt Thomas), but production from the incoming Gary Trent Jr. and a potential change of scenery bump from Rodney Hood could help offset some of that loss.
If Toronto is going to find a way to squeeze in one more playoff push, they will likely need help. Fortunately, they still have room to add, with two available roster spots, whether it be via the buyout market or by mining talent from the G League (they are free to bring back Henry Ellenson if they so choose).
Here are four relatively risk-free additions that the Raptors would be wise to pursue for the stretch run.