After almost a year of rumors and speculation, the Toronto Raptors made moves.
The team is now entering a youth movement after trading away O.G. Anunoby and Pascal Siakam.
It is clear that Scottie Barnes is the cornerstone of the franchise and winning is currently not on the forefront of Toronto’s mind right now.
The Raptors are 16-30 and yet only two games out of the final play-in spot. However, perhaps picking up more losses and keeping their 2024 first-round pick would be the better option.
A player who was brought in to help win last year was Jakob Poeltl. He was traded from San Antonio to Toronto at least season’s trade deadline.
Per TSN’s Josh Lewenberg, Poeltl weighed in on the Siakam trade:
“It was tough because he was the guy I was closest to on this team… I guess I was mentally prepared for it a little bit already because there were so many rumours… but it’s still really sad for me to basically lose my best friend on the team.”
Siakam embodied Toronto and meant so much to the Raptors franchise, especially Masai Ujiri. But, it was a move that had to be made as the organization enters a new phase.
For Poeltl, he is left in a tough situation as his future is uncertain. Now at 28-years-old, it is safe to assume that he wants to start winning sooner rather than later.
The 7’0″ footer does not make a lot of sense for Toronto’s rebuild. But he is currently out with an ankle injury, which makes trading him harder. As the Feb. 8 trade deadline approaches, if Poeltl is healthy, it makes sense to move off of him for young talent or draft capital.
Jakob Poeltl doesn’t want to be part of tanking team
Ujiri said himself that more trades are on the horizon for the Raptors and Poeltl could be at the forefront of that.
Poeltl still has three more years until his player option, but admits he wants to be on a team that is playing competitive basketball.
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