Trade value of Raptors roster is debateable

Feb 8, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The Timberwolves won 112-109. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Raptors haven’t made a lot of trades during Masai Ujiri’s time at the top. Will there be some action this year? If so, who’s likely to go?

As the NBA trade deadline of February 23 edges ever closer, interest and ideas about how to improve the Toronto Raptors seem to increase daily. This is a positive thing; the team’s recent stumbles are a clear indication that some change is called for. The squad as currently constituted looks to be in danger of continuing its sharp slide down the standings.

Those of us who write about the team are primarily focusing on which player(s) might be added. We know players have to go the other way, which makes us sad. There are no unlikable Raptors.

Feb 8, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Toronto Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll (5) looks to pass the ball around Minnesota Timberwolves guard Brandon Rush (4) in the second half at Target Center. The Timberwolves won 112-109. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 8, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Toronto Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll (5) looks to pass the ball around Minnesota Timberwolves guard Brandon Rush (4) in the second half at Target Center. The Timberwolves won 112-109. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Still, Toronto can’t get something for nothing. When considering who needs to pack his bags, I wonder if we aren’t suffering from the Raptors equivalent of “Blue and White disease”, or over-valuing our players. Which guys are genuinely attractive to other teams?

Guys staying put

First, let’s eliminate DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry from trade consideration. I’m aware that anyone can be traded, but I’m bulldog enough to say those two aren’t going anywhere.

Patrick Patterson and Delon Wright are both injured and are most unlikely to be of interest as a result. Neither will Bruno Caboclo, except as a salary-equaling throw-in.

I’m less certain of our rookies, but I doubt any of Jakob Poeltl, Pascal Siakam or Fred VanVleet will be moved. The startling improvement of Bebe Nogueira makes him highly attractive to other teams, and is also why he won’t be going anywhere.

Norman Powell might be the best value-for-money Raptor. I’d be shocked if he were traded.

Is Terrence Ross truly available? Maybe so, but Raps GM Masai Ujiri would be very leery of stripping his second unit of its best floor spacer. TRoss’ defense and rebounding has improved this season as well.

Raptors of value

That leaves the following as trade candidates, in order of attractiveness to other teams:

  1. Jonas Valanciunas. His salary is relatively friendly, and he’s a consistent provider of double-doubles. JV was enjoying a solid playoff run until injured last year. GMs like that, a lot.
  2. DeMarre Carroll. Another proven playoff standout, he’s had an uninspiring run in Toronto. Opposition GMs might think a change of scenery could be a tonic.
  3. Cory Joseph. He’s fallen out of favour (although not permanently perhaps), but he’s a product of the San Antonio system, and those guys always find work. Cory is a respectable backup point guard on a manageable contract.
  4. Jared Sullinger. He’s hasn’t shown much as a Raptor. I suspect a GM would rather take a chance on a D-League power forward.
  5. Our two first-round draft picks. Because they are likely to be in the mid-twenties, these are deal-sweetners only.

OK, Rapture Nation. Do you take exception with my list of trade-able assets, or their ranking? Would you move TRoss, in spite of my reservations? Let’s hear from you in the Comments.

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