The Toronto Raptors have had an up and down season so far. They have enjoyed some wild comeback wins and nice performances but they have also suffered some bad defeats.
Toronto currently sits at 5-6 and look like a .500 to sub .500 team through 11 games.
There’s been an ongoing debate on if the Raptors should completely blow the roster up or try to make a win now move.
It seems like that debate will continue after the latest trade rumors. According to Shams Charania, the Bulls have an increased openness to trade Zach LaVine.
Since the report there have been many teams speculated as a potential trade partner for LaVine and the Raptors are one of them.
On The Lowe Post podcast, Zach Lowe and Kevin Pelton talked about why the Raptors should consider a Zach LaVine trade.
Zach LaVine is owed $43 million next season and $45 million in 2025-26 and then he has a player option in 2026-27 of $48 million, which he will surely opt into.
That would be a huge contract the Raptors would be taking on.
Raptors trading for Zach LaVine does not make sense
While Zach LaVine would instantly make the Raptors offense better, a trade doesn’t make sense.
Trading for LaVine wouldn’t put the Raptors over the top. It is not worth them gutting their team of even more picks. The Raptors don’t have their 2024 first-round pick (Top-6 protected) which they dealt to San Antonio for Jakob Poeltl and that already looks like a huge mistake.
Also, it would be extremely difficult to keep both Pascal Siakam and O.G. Anunoby alongside LaVine and Scottie Barnes:
Rough math on LaVine with Raptors:
LaVine, Poeltl, Schroder, Barnes, Dick, McDaniels under contract for 2024-25
Would leave you about $69.4M beneath tax for Siakam+Anunoby + fill roster with minimums
$77.4M below the first tax apron
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) November 16, 2023
If the Raptors try to swap Siakam for LaVine whose salaries work for a deal, a trade still does not make much sense.
If Toronto trades Siakam they are better off getting a package of future assets that better fit Scottie Barnes’ timeline. Zach LaVine turns 29-years-old in March. Also, it’s hard to imagine the Bulls would take on Siakam’s expiring contract if they’re headed for a full rebuild.
This seems like a hard pass for the Raptors.
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