Raptors trade rumors: Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., but likely not OG Anunoby
In a trade season on simmer (at best), the eyes of the league are on the Toronto Raptors — they can turn the market to a boil with just a couple of moves. Will a team currently stuck in the middle — somewhere Masai Ujiri will not let the team live — will make a dramatic move to pivot at the trade deadline?
Probably not, but nothing is off the table. Here is the latest on where things stand with them, according to a report from Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.
• Fred VanVleet is a name that interests other teams, but the Raptors are likelier to reach an extension with the 29-year-old point guard after the season than to move him.
Both VanVleet and the Raptors agreed to shelve extension talks until after the season. Fischer estimates something in the Kyle Lowry extension range — three years, $100 million — although that may be a bit high after a down season (18.2 points per game, but more disturbingly on 37.6% shooting overall). Then again, a Tyler Herro contract (four years, $130 million) could come together. If the Raptors and VanVleet cannot reach a deal before July 1, expect the Suns and Magic to be among the teams interested in the free agent.
• The guy other teams hope will become available is OG Anunoby. Don’t bet on it. He has been maybe the best perimeter defender in the league and the Raptors see him as a core part of the future.
• Pascal Siakam — an All-NBA player — would shake up the market but it seems unlikely to be available. If he is, this would require a near Harden-level haul to get a deal done (more of a summer move than a deadline one).
• The Raptor most likely to be traded: Gary Trent Jr.
Trent is the kind of player in demand around the league — a wing who can both defend and knock down 3s — but whoever trades for him has to know they can re-sign and keep him this summer.
Much like the Bulls, a lot of teams are watching to see if the Raptors’ front office decides to do something bold at the trade deadline. The smart money is on the smaller, Trent move only, but teams are watching and will make calls.