Reigning NBA champions Toronto Raptors do have a history of franchise-altering trades.
The player dubbed as “Half Man, Half Amazing” went on to captivate millions of fans in the early 2000s and eventually put Canada on the basketball map.
The Raptors aggressively tried to pull off more groundbreaking trades over the years but were unable to close the deal.
Here are three of the craziest trade rumors in Raptors history.
The deal: Tracy McGrady to the Chicago Bulls for Scottie Pippen (1997)
This was confirmed by T-Mac himself at the height of the popularity of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” docuseries last June. In an appearance on The Jump, the 41-year-old Hall of Famer revealed that he was close to starting his career with the Bulls alongside Michael Jordan.
At a time when then Bulls GM Jerry Krause was actively shopping the disgruntled Scottie Pippen, the Raptors appeared as eager takers.
Pippen, who was on the final year of his contract, was coming off his fifth NBA title with the Bulls and would have given the Raptors a legitimate superstar. It was a win-win scenario for Toronto, who would have chosen Pippen in a heartbeat over an unproven high school star.
The supposed deal was for the Raptors to select McGrady and ship him to the Bulls on draft day. T-Mac revealed that Krause even flew him to Chicago days before the draft.
However, that agreement eventually got nixed after Jordan reportedly vetoed the deal. T-Mac was chosen 9th overall by the Raptors, while Pippen stayed in the Windy City and helped the Bulls capture their second three-peat.
The deal: Tracy McGrady, first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for Larry Hughes (1999)
T-Mac wasn’t the superstar that he came to be when he started with the Raptors. Although the upside was there, Toronto was willing to part ways with him if the right deal came along.
They thought Hughes was their guy and was keen on pulling the trigger for his services. To be fair, Hughes was indeed the better player at the time.
Fortunately for Toronto (and the rest of the East), then Sixers GM Billy King had second thoughts and canceled the talks. Maybe T-Mac and Allen Iverson could have had at least one NBA title had they been teammates at the time.
McGrady, of course, went on to become one of the most electrifying scorers of all time (albeit with the Magic). Hughes, meanwhile, had several good years of his own but was not as game-changing as T-Mac was.
The deal: Vince Carter and Antonio Davis to the Dallas Mavericks for Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash (2002)
We could have seen VC play in Dallas in his prime had this blockbuster deal came through. It’s also hard to picture Nowitzki not in a Mavs jersey, but that could have been a reality in ’02.
Carter was indeed one of the brightest stars in the league at the time and was getting plenty of attention from the other 29 teams.
Dirk, on the other hand, was just starting to find his footing in the NBA. The same goes for Nash, who has yet to unlock his back-to-back MVP form. Dallas boldly offered the international duo for Carter and Davis. They believed a possible homecoming for the Canadian Nash could entice the Raptors to accept their offer.
Former Raptors GM Glen Grunwald understandably rejected the deal, considering Carter way too valuable of an asset to give away.
Carter did eventually find his way to the Mavs in the twilight of his career, teaming up with Nowitzki from 2011-14.