NBA Trades: These 4 wannabe contenders should trade for Trae Young

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks - Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks - Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks – Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

Trae Young Suitor #2: Toronto Raptors

It’s hard to parse out exactly what the Raptors are doing with their team construction these days. At the trade deadline, there was a forest fire’s worth of smoke around the team trading OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet. Instead of taking that course, the team reacquired Jakob Poeltl and made a play-in push.

Even after making the top ten in the East, it shouldn’t be discounted that Masai Ujiri could be looking to make a major move for the team. Scottie Barnes had a solid second season after winning Rookie of the Year last year, but he, Anunoby, and Pascal Siakam will always be a somewhat difficult fit on the court.

A trade package centered around Scottie Barnes and some shooting or picks could be what the Hawks want to retool their roster. Barnes still has enough star upside to serve as a centerpiece of trade compensation due to his unique blend of passing, defense, and athleticism:

Adding Trae Young would set off a number of chain reactions for the Raptors. It would mean letting Fred VanVleet walk, whether for nothing or in a sign-and-trade, but Young would be a better point guard anyway. It would also insulate Young with a defensively versatile team that could mask some of his weaknesses.

Most importantly for Toronto, however, is that Young would give a stagnant offense one of the more exciting and impactful lead guards in the entire NBA. His slick passing to teammates, deep shooting range, and feathery floater touch would all raise the floor for the Raptors’ offense, which could be enough to vault them back into contender status next year.