B/R’s Raptors-Magic trade seems too risky for Masai Ujiri

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Orlando Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman has given the Toronto Raptors some given the Raptors some gifts over the years in the form of Serge Ibaka and Khem Birch, but Masai Ujiri might not be able to pump the former Raptors executive for players this offseason due to their lackluster roster, unless he wants Mo Bamba or Terrence Ross.

Ross averaged a career-high 15.6 points per game this season, but his 41% clip from the field proves that he is still the same inefficient player he once was when the Raptors took him in the lottery out of Washington.

After losing time to the likes of Nikola Vucevic, Wendell Carter, and Khem Birch during his time in Orlando, the Magic let go of Birch in order to see once and for all if Bamba can become the center they always envisioned. With Bamba still not taking that next step, his value is as low as it has ever been.

That hasn’t stopped Bleacher Report from trying to get these two up to Toronto. B/R cooked up a very risky trade for the Raptors, as it would have them trading away two draft picks to bring Ross back to Toronto and give Bamba a fresh start.

B/R’s trade that sends Mo Bamba and Terrence Ross to the Toronto Raptors.

Raptors Get

SF Terrence Ross

C Mo Bamba

Magic Get

C Aron Baynes

SF Rodney Hood

2022 First-Round Pick (Lottery protected)

2021 Second-Round Pick

The Raptors might be in the mood to give up a first-round pick, but only for a player that can help elevate them back into the championship tier. With this current roster by no means a lock to make it far into the postseason, Toronto might end up trading a pick that could be right on the edge of the lottery.

Ross is a former Raptor and a quality scorer that is coming off one of the finest seasons of his career with the Magic, but the fire sale in Orlando means those numbers must be viewed in the context of a team tanking for wins. The player that was once traded for Ibaka wouldn’t move the needle much for Toronto.

Bamba was outplayed by Carter and Birch over the course of his time in Orlando, and Birch’s play as the starting center means that Toronto would be out of their mind if they decided to reduce his minutes in favor of Bamba due to his athleticism. This makes a Bamba deal redundant.

Ensuring that Baynes and Hood end up in Orlando doesn’t mean much except to make the money match up, but giving away two draft picks in order to get a project in Bamba and a slightly above-average wing player in Ross wouldn’t be the best trade for Ujiri or Bobby Webster to put on their resumes.