The Toronto Raptors are once again going to be tasked with choosing a direction at the NBA trade deadline. For several seasons now, the Raptors have been in a peculiar situation. They have several players that are coveted league-wide. These players include Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr.
After a 9-11 start through their first 20 games, it seems the Raptors may be heading down the same path. They seem like they won’t be able to contend with the players they have. However, they still having plenty of players to use as trade bait if they choose to blow things up this time around.
The Ringer’s Bill Simmons is one of many NBA analysts that sees the situation the Raptors are in, and is eager to find a solution that works for both Toronto and another team. For him, that team is the Golden State Warriors, as he devised a simple mock trade that could be beneficial for both parties.
— The Ringer (@ringer) December 1, 2023
The trade involves sending Siakam out West to the Warriors. This would be in exchange for Canada native Andrew Wiggins and young forward Jonathan Kuminga. Siakam to the Warriors would make sense on a number of levels.
Wiggins could see a boost returning to his home country. If he can be the All-Star level player that he was in 2022, he could not only help the Raptors now, but could be a trade piece down the line as well. But the more prized acquisition would be a shot at developing Kuminga.
Kuminga has been a high-potential player for his first three NBA seasons. However, he has struggled to put it all together with consistency. Perhaps a new destination — with lower stakes on a game-to-game basis and a more defined role — could help him blossom into the player he’s been expected to be.
It’s unlikely that this exact trade materializes. However, if the Raptors choose to shop Siakam, the Warriors could emerge as a potential suitor.
Rajakovic: Raptors still searching for identity
Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic gave an honest assessment of the team through 20 games. He said that the Raptors are still searching for an identity and figuring out what kind of team they want to be.