Pass or pursue for 4 trade targets

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The Toronto Raptors have a record of 11-13 after a tough 128-113 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. It has been a struggle this season, at times, but the Raptors are very much in the thick of the playoff hunt right now.

The roster is flawed. It is overwhelmed with players you could consider projects like Matt Thomas, DeAndre Bembry, and even Yuta Watanabe. There are too many guards and not enough useful frontcourt players.

Another issue is the uncertainty in the front office. Masai Ujiri, long considered the team architect, still has not signed a contract extension, and rumors of the Washington Wizards’ interest in him are resurfacing. Despite ALL of that, the Raptors are fielding a competitive team.

At the moment, OG Anunoby has missed games due to a calf strain dating back to January 31st, 2021, hampering the team’s success on the court. There have been multiple ideas discussed to change the team’s direction, like trading Kyle Lowry or Pascal Siakam.

With trade rumors circling this team, it’s time to take a look at some options the Raptors could potentially add and decide if Ujiri should either pass on them or pursue them to improve.

Blake Griffin

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 30: Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Toronto Raptors trade target No. 1: Blake Griffin

Should the Raptors take a chance on the former All-Star?

The Raptors desperately need some size in the frontcourt, whether it be a power forward or center. In today’s game, smaller lineups excel just as well as traditional ones if the right players on the court.

Griffin, a power forward with the Detroit Pistons, could be considered an option to fill the Raptors’ needs of a big man. However, Griffin is 31 years old and coming off an injury-plagued 2020 in which he only played in 18 games. He comes with a hefty price tag that pays him over $36 million this season and $38 million next if he opts in after signing a five-year contract in 2017.

The positives to adding Griffin are his rebounding, where he averages 8.8 per game for his career. The Raptors are 28th in the NBA in that category and desperately need help. The problem is that Griffin has seen a decline in his rebounding totals averaging 5.4 in 17 games this season and 4.7 last year.

While an above-average shooter for a player at his position, his overall scoring is way down at 12.2 points per game. It was just two seasons ago in 75 games that Griffin was averaging 24.5 points a game. Throw in the fact that he hasn’t dunked all season long, and it’s clear that Griffin is on the back nine in his career

The Raptors’ best bet would be to wait for a Piston’s buyout of Griffin and sign him at a veteran minimum. Otherwise, an inadvisable trade of Lowry, Powell, and a 1st round draft pick could be made for Griffin to address the Raptors’ frontcourt needs, but the Raptors would be getting a shell of the superstar that is Griffin.

Verdict: Pass.