The Raptors are struggling, but there's a couple big trades that aren't out of reach

The Toronto/Tampa Bay Raptors are now 1-6.

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click to enlarge The Raptors are struggling, but there's a couple big trades that aren't out of reach
Photo via NBA.com/Raptors


This is not an ideal start. The Toronto-Tampa Bay Raptors have been losing some incredibly winnable games, and they are getting little-to-no production from key contributors like Norman Powell and OG Anunoby.

Anunoby and Powell are both suffering from the same problem; efficiency. Both guys are shooting poorly, as OG is shooting under 30% from deep and Powell is shooting 30% from the field. Guys like Kyle Lowry, Spicy P and Fred VanVleet are turning in solid performances, but if those are the only guys cracking double digits, then Toronto is going to struggle—even in the Eastern conference

The problems don’t stop there. On the defensive end of the floor, the Raps are doing a great job of defending the paint, as they have allowed the second fewest points in the paint in the NBA. But behind the arc they are 21st in three-point shooting, while allowing the 20th highest shooting percentage from deep. If the Raptors want to turn things around, the journey starts in three-point land, on both sides of the ball. 

But fear not, Tampa, err, Tortonto Raptors fans. Things could change. 

First of all, the Raptors are still a very good team as currently constructed. They will turn things around. But even if they don’t do so soon, Toronto can certainly shake things up.

The Sacramento Kings’ starting center Marvin Bagley III has expressed some… displeasure, with his role with the team. His father, Marvin Bagley, Jr. sent a now-deleted Tweet from his “Team Bagley” account pleading with the Kings to trade his son, whose production in Sacramento has certainly not lived up to his expectations for the second-player drafted overall in the 2018 draft (he was picked over superstars Luka Doncic and Trae Young), but the talent is still there. A change of scenery might be just what the former Duke Blue Devil needs, and the Raptors’ excellent team culture may spark the young big man. 

The Raptors would likely have to part with at least a couple future first-rounders and maybe even a talented young player like Terrence Davis, but for a guy like Bagley it might be worth it. The Raptors have done a great job of developing players despite not having a lottery pick for the past eight years, so imagine what they could do with a guy like Bagley. A dynamic duo of Bagley and Siakam in your front court could certainly wreak havoc in the East. 

Another route that is certainly still on the table is trading for 2017-2018 NBA MVP James Harden. This would likely mean giving up Fred VanVleet, a boatload of firsts, and the aforementioned Davis (and maybe even Anunoby), and the Raptors could very well say "no thanks" to a talented-but-complicated superstar like Harden for that price. But the Raptors have a history of being aggressive, as they traded their franchise player DeMar DeRozan and a first-rounder for Kawhi Leonard, despite Leonard’s contract being set to expire and his general weirdness. 

So there are options, Raptor fans. Even if Toronto continues to flounder, they could pull the trigger on a big move and try to turn things around. Tortonto plays in an awful conference and could easily bounce back and sneak into the playoffs. And from there, who knows what could happen?

@CTBrantley12

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