Nick Nurse, Masai Ujiri, and the Toronto Raptors have suddenly entered the “contenders” arena, as their impressive winning run following a dreadful 2-8 start has the front office looking for upgrades around the league. In such a competitive Eastern Conference, Toronto needs to do something to set itself apart from the rest of the contenders.
Unlike Nurse and the Raptors, not every team that stumbled out of the gate has been able to pick up the pace, firmly relegating them to the “sellers” tier. By the time the deadline rolls around, these teams will likely be selling anyone with a pulse in order to build up draft capital for 2021 and beyond.
The Raptors might not have a ton of second-round picks that they could part within the name of getting some depth for the playoff run, but an aggressive Ujiri could turn the back-end of Toronto’s roster into a package that entices some teams to part with game-changing players.
Any one of these four teams could be in a selling mood near the deadline, and the Raptors should start dangling players and picks in front of them in order to secure some trades,
These 4 teams could trade their stars to the Raptors
No. 4: Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota appeared to be in a solid position in the West for the first time in years, as a core of three Top 2 draft picks in Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and rookie Anthony Edwards seems like quite a nasty combination. Unfortunately, the Timberwolves find themselves with the worst record in the NBA.
Ryan Saunders has been fired and replaced with a former Raptors assistant in Chris Finch. Finch has no loyalty to any of these players, and he could look to trade anyone besides his superstar trio in order to get Minnesota ready for 2021 and beyond.
Potential Raptors targets: Jarrett Culver, Ricky Rubio, Ed Davis
Culver is a former No. 6 overall pick, but the presence of Russell and Edwards will make playing time hard to come by. Rubio could be a veteran option that could provide sharp passing and some nice finishes on the offensive end, while Davis could go a long way towards solving Toronto’s rebounding problem.
The Timberwolves have their young core all set with Towns, Russell, and Edwards all locked in for the next few seasons, but Saunders was unable to guide the team to wings. By getting some more draft capital or more ammo to trade for another star, Minnesota could let Toronto pick up players like Culver, Rubio, and Davis.