Trade Deadline 2023: Toronto Raptors Mock Deadline

  • GM: Esfandiar Baraheni, @justesbaraheni

    Salary Cap: $146,400,641

    Luxury Tax: $3,866,359

    GOAL: Decide which direction to go in regard to being a buyer or seller. Is it time to sell off a couple of pieces or do you continue to try to compete?


    Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet are both likely free agents after this season, consider flipping both of them if you don’t think you’ll re-sign them rather than losing him for nothing

    Guys usually have more value with a year or two left on their deal after that season as opposed to an expiring contract. With that said, is it time to at least gauge the market on Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby?

    I would gauge the market for all four of these guys, but I would more likely than not move Trent for the best offer you get

    Players to Dangle

    Pascal Siakam (2/$73.3)

    o   Salary: $35,448,672

    o   Can salary match up to $44,410,840

    o   You can get some real premium assets for Siakam, so I think you have to at least gauge the market for him

    o  Target Teams:

    Memphis Grizzlies
    Phoenix Suns
    Sacramento Kings
    Dallas Mavericks
    Portland Trail Blazers
    Golden State Warriors

    Fred VanVleet (2/$44 w/ PO in 2023-24)

    o   Salary: $21,250,000

    o   Can salary match up to $26,662,500

    o   He’s an expiring deal, so unless you’re confident you’ll re-sign him, you should move him

    o   Suggested trade: Cole Anthony, Mo Bamba, & a pick for FVV to Orlando

    o  Target Teams:

    Orlando Magic
    Washington Wizards
    Minnesota Timberwolves

    Gary Trent Jr. (2/$36.2 w/ PO in 2023-24)

    o   Salary: $17,505,000

    o   Can salary match up to $22,505,000 if you can avoid the tax

    o   He’s the most likely one to be traded of the bunch

    o  Target Teams:

    Phoenix Suns
    New York Knicks
    New Orleans Pelicans
    LA Lakers

    OG Anunoby (3/$55.9 w/ PO in 2024-25)

    o   Salary: $17,357,143

    o   Can salary match up to $22,357,143 if you can avoid the tax

    o   There’s been speculation that his return in a trade can be Donovan Mitchell/Dejounte Murray-esque. If you can get that much for him, you have to at least listen to offers

    o   Target Teams:

    Dallas Mavericks
    Memphis Grizzlies
    New Orleans Pelicans
    Phoenix Suns
    New York Knicks
    Sacramento Kings
    Portland Trail Blazers
    OKC Thunder
    Indiana Pacers

    Chris Boucher (3/$35.3)

    o   Salary: $12,690,000

    o   One of the few mid-tier salaries on the books, so he’s going to get dangled if offers by default

    Thaddeus Young (2/$16 w/ $1 mil gtd in 2023-24)

    o   Salary: $8,000,000

    o   He’s a mid-tier salary, so he’s going to be thrown around in trade discussions

    Khem Birch (2/$13.7)

    o   Salary: $6,667,950

    o   Can you get his money off the books for next year if you can bring in an adequate center?

    Otto Porter Jr. (2/$12.3 w/ PO in 2023-24)

    o   Salary: $6,000,000

    o   Trade value likely gone with season-ending surgery but contender may value him for next year

    Assets Owned

    • TPE: $5,250,000
    2023 1st
    2024 1st
    2025 1st
    2026 1st
    2027 1st
    2028 1st
    2029 1st
    2023 2nd
    2025 2nd
    2026 2nd
    2027 2nd
    2028 2nd
    2029 2nd


    Mock Trades to Date (Feb 2 Deadline)


    Timberwolves-Raptors swap guards

    TRADE: Raptors trade Malachi Flynn to the Timberwolves for Jaylen Nowell


    Our Raptors GM, Es Baraheni, did not find Malachi Flynn as a valuable part of how the Raptors roster is constructed. When he came on the Bird Rights Podcast, he discussed that he was always planning to move Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet because he did not feel comfortable paying each of them the amount of money they expected to receive in free agency. While Nowell will likely be paid in the $7-$9 million range annually this summer in unrestricted free agency, Toronto figured they’d have plenty of flexibility to re-sign Nowell. 

    For Minnesota, they do not have a consistent reliable playmaker on the roster beyond this year. Malachi Flynn gave them a point guard that is still under contract on a rookie deal next year and the hope is that he can be a reliable contributor next year. Minnesota also didn’t feel comfortable paying Nowell in free agency this summer. While Toronto feels that they got the superior player in this deal, Minnesota valued these players equally and took the one that is more cost-controlled for an extra year. 


    Pelicans trade for All-Star point guard


    Pelicans receive: Fred VanVleet, Dalano Banton, Toronto 2029 2nd

    Raptors receive: Devonte’ Graham, Dyson Daniels, Naji Marshall, 2024 LAL 1st round pick (top-3 protected) and Pelicans 2026 1st (most favorable of MIL and NOP), Bulls 2024 2nd

    Nuggets receive: Willy Hernangómez and Raptors 2027 2nd


    This trade has been the most controversial among those that were announced on Twitter or on Bird Rights Podcast and has definitely received the most pushback. However, Pelicans GM, Anil Gogna’s rationale was sound. This trade was very reminiscent of the Jrue Holiday to the Bucks trade. At the time, it seemed like there was a massive overpay from Milwaukee and a desperate ploy to keep Giannis with the Bucks. But then they ultimately re-signed Giannis to a long-term deal and won the championship with the help of Holiday, so nobody will remember that trade as an overpay. Anil felt that in order to get off Devonte’ Graham’s guaranteed money beyond this year, it would take a first-round pick. Keep in mind, the Pelicans have never paid the luxury tax in franchise history. As a result, he felt that this deal was essentially Daniels, Marshall, and one first-round pick for VanVleet. Daniels has the potential to be great, but according to Anil, it’s unpredictable to know whether that potential comes to fruition. 

    For the Raptors, their asking price was high for VanVleet. After turning down a $112 million extension, the Raptors were almost required to hear offers on VanVleet. Getting two first-round picks, Dyson Daniels, and Naji Marshall was a massive haul for a re-tooling team. In reality, it is unlikely that the Pelicans will be willing to part ways with Daniels, but it isn’t the craziest thing to think it’s time to push in some of their assets to try to make a run at an NBA finals appearance with how wide open the Western Conference is this year. 

    For the Nuggets, they got a second-round pick to take on Hernangómez, who instantly becomes the best backup center option behind Nikola Jokić on this roster. 


    Jazz add stretch big

    TRADE: Raptors trade Chris Boucher and Otto Porter Jr. to the Jazz for Jaxson Hayes and Malik Beasley


    Toronto traded for Malik Beasley with the intention of trading Gary Trent Jr., as Beasley is a seamless replacement for Trent. Additionally, with Otto Porter Jr. out for the season, it’s a strong possibility that he would opt into next year’s player option. Toronto also wasn’t thrilled with having two more years of Chris Boucher on the books after this season. Collectively, Toronto opened up a ton of flexibility with their trades, and this was an extension of that. 

    For Utah, Boucher is a seamless Kelly Olynyk replacement and fits in well with the big man rotation of Naz Reid, Walker Kessler, and Jarred Vanderbilt. Similarly to the acquisition of Garrett Temple in the Olynyk deal, they valued Otto Porter’s veteran leadership and championship pedigree. While Temple is on an expiring deal, Porter can potentially be on next year’s Jazz roster and continue to provide that mentorship while also being a contributor when healthy. 


    Raptors get their big men


    Magic receive: Gary Trent Jr., Juancho Hernangomez, Devonte’ Graham, and 2026 top-25 protected first (conveys to two seconds if it doesn’t convey)

    Raptors receive: Bol Bol, Mo Bamba, 2023 ORL 2nd, Terrence Ross, and Doug McDermott

    Spurs receive: Khem Birch, RJ Hampton, 2026 and 2028 TOR 2nd round picks


    The Raptors were shopping Gary Trent Jr. heavily, and a team finally bit. Toronto finally gets a big man that they covet in Mo Bamba, as well as taking a flier on a much-improved Bol Bol. Toronto also receives Orlando’s 2023 2nd, which should fall around the pick 35-36 range. While Toronto took on Doug McDermott’s money for next year, they got off Khem Birch, and Mo Bamba has a non-guaranteed year next year, which I’d imagine the Raptors planned on utilizing when executing this trade. Bamba instantly becomes the best center on this roster and stops the bleeding from the Chris Boucher trade. Toronto did an excellent job doing their best Masai Ujuri impression and adding a bunch of long, rangy 6’9”-plus guys to their roster, while getting off Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr., two guys that don’t exactly fit that project. I imagine Toronto flipping Terrence Ross somewhere else for another asset. 

    For Orlando, they get a legit shooter that they desperately need. Mo Bamba is not currently in the rotation and they re-signed him likely with the intention of flipping him for a first-round pick. While the first they got is highly protected and is likely to convey into two seconds, they get Trent with the expectation of being willing to pay him. I don’t love the fact that they took back Devonte’ Graham’s money, but his contract isn’t an albatross either so I think they could move him at some point before that contract is over. Orlando came into this exercise with potential to have up to $32.8 million in cap space (per Spotrac) and Graham cuts into that, as does Trent if they plan on re-signing him. 

    For the Spurs, they got two second-round picks and a flier on RJ Hampton for Doug McDermott. Meanwhile, San Antonio came into this exercise with a projected $47 million in cap space this summer, and while Birch eats into some of that, McDermott’s deal goes off their books and they further increase that cap space.

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