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Are The Raptors Ready To Move Players?

By Jeff Stinger

The NBA trade deadline appears to have the Toronto Raptors at its center since the blockbuster trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks. The Raptors’ unresolved lineup plans have been under the microscope, and that did not change as the deadline draws closer. While the franchise continues to downplay the chances of moving All-Star forward Pascal Siakam despite a wave of interest, Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, and Gary Trent Jr., many believe that things could go down the wire.

Toronto does a great job at making sure nothing escapes that door before things materialize. But, that doesn’t stop the rumors from spreading. With the team delivering sub-par results, we might see the Raptors head in a different direction sooner or later.

Before anything else, Nitrobetting shares the latest news, NBA odds, and special features throughout the 2022-23 NBA season. Let’s get a closer look at one of the hottest NBA trade rumors.

A plethora of favorable players

O.G Anunoby

O.G. Anunoby is a hot asset right now. He’s only 25 years old and holds a manageable contract that lasts through the end of the 2023-24 NBA season. He’s on $18 million yearly and deserves every penny of his salary with incredible statistics. The London-born player is arguably one of the best perimeter defenders in the league now. He will draw interest primarily because he’s a grab-and-go piece that can help any contender looking to add another valuable piece to the mix.

However, it will take a lot of convincing for the Raptors to let him go. The franchise heavily invested in him and if the organization targets better numbers in the future, having Anunoby as a core piece should be a non-negotiable. Ultimately, he’s likely to bring huge returns to any conference.

Fred VanVleet

Another player circulating NBA trade talks is 2019 NBA Champion Fred VanVleet. The veteran point guard and former All-Star with commendable shooting ability returned at the right time and greatly improved his stock value since. He’s been linked with the Lakers for a few weeks now, but the other Los Angeles franchise could use his expertise. If the Raptors are worried about the costly re-signing figures of VanVleet in the summer, getting something for him in return is a must.

In hindsight, parting ways with the 28-year-old indicates an absolute revamp of the current Raptors lineup. If the only interested parties involve the Clippers and the Lakers, they don’t have much to offer. The deal remains clouded over and what happens in the summer is nearly possible to foresee. Nevertheless, there’s still a good chance we see him suit up in a Raptors jersey after the trade deadline.

Pascal Siakam

Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri wants to turn a new leaf and figure out how to turn Pascal Siakam into advantageous draft picks and prospects. This makes the most sense considering that the 28-year-old Cameroonian is the current face of the franchise. Meanwhile, letting him go indicates that Toronto is willing to tear down its core lineup. The only way we see this working is if a contender is willing to overpay.

Siakam is having an incredible season and could be entering the prime of his career. The Raptors need to build a team around him and not send him away. This is one of the few arguments that lead us to believe he stays in Toronto for another season. Needless to say, there could be an offer out there good enough to produce another blockbuster trade before the deadline.

Gary Trent Jr.

There’s a long list of teams that need a dedicated scorer. And impending free agent Gary Trent Jr. is about to meet his fate soon. He’s the Raptor most likely to pursue a bigger contract in the summer. We know that Toronto may want to take a pass here as they see Trent as a sixth man who does most of the damage off the bench. If you’re looking for a championship contender that can hold both ends of the floor, the 24-year-old might not be up for it.

However, the Raptors not having enough shooting firepower may convince both sides to stay put. There’s also the question of not having suitors that deliver his monetary expectations in the summer. With that, the return might not be as compelling as it would be from trading others, but if there’s a roster tweak out there, this could be the move that completes it all. This is the one Toronto move that potentially materializes before the trade block closes.

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