Toronto Raptors: Pass or pursue on 3 rumored NBA trade deadline targets

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Toronto Raptors, NBA trade deadline Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Raptors, NBA trade deadline Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Should the Raptors trade for Andre Drummond?

The Athletics Shams Charania reported that the Raptors are one of many teams who have engaged in conversations about acquiring Andre Drummond (paywall).

The issue with this is unless it’s a buyout (Drummond would go to a contender rather than a middle of the East Raptors) the Raptors would have to trade Norman Powell to make the salary work or perhaps have Kyle Lowry involved in a three-team trade.

Firstly, trading for Drummond but losing Lowry doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Trading for Drummond would be a move to make the team better, if you trade Lowry you might as well go into a full rebuild and rely on the young core of Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby.
Secondly, if you want to acquire Drummond without trading Lowry that means moving Powell, and Powell might be more impactful than Drummond.

There’s a real argument that Powell gives the Raptors more than Drummond would, they both have very different skill sets but Powell has been a revelation in an injury and contact tracing riddled season for the Raptors.

As a starter this season Powell is averaging 23.4 points per game and with a 64.4 effective field goal percentage. Powell has held the team afloat while the Raptors have dealt with an in-and-out lineup — Powell has had six 30+ point games in his past 11 games.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe said that Powell has been a key target for many teams.

"“It might take me more hands than I have to can count how many teams have inquired about Norm (Norman) Powell”"

There are likely better players and trades involving Norman Powell the Raptors can make over an Andre Drummond trade – getting high draft picks and maybe a young player is probably worth more than Drummond if the Raptors decide to rebuild.

Drummond is available, assumingly for cheap, Drummond is a historic rebounder and he provides some rim protection. The Raptors have been a poor rebounding team this season — ranking 28th in rebounding percentage per RealGM.

But do they really need Drummond and his $28.7 Million to fix that? Or can they just marginally upgrade the center position with a veteran center like Tristan Thompson?