Toronto Raptors: Five potential trade targets who could plug hole at wing position

Otto Porter and Andrew Wiggins are two young wingmen who could pique Masai Ujiri’s interest – image credit: SmashDown Sports/Flickr
Otto Porter and Andrew Wiggins are two young wingmen who could pique Masai Ujiri’s interest – image credit: SmashDown Sports/Flickr

The Toronto Raptors could look into trading one of these players to fill in the void left by Kawhi Leonard.

NBA

The Toronto Raptors found themselves living in a post-Kawhi Leonard world, just months after winning their first ever NBA championship at the expense of the Golden State Warriors last June.

And while the Raptors are still going to be a pretty good squad collectively, Leonard’s free-agency decision to go home and play for his hometown team, the Los Angeles Clippers, has impacted Toronto in a big way.

Now, the Raptors have to find ways how to make up Leonard’s offensive output (26.6 ppg on 49.6 FG% and 37.1 3-pts%) that served as the backbone of their offense last season. Sure, the acquisition of Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has, to some extent, addressed their defensive need at the wing position, but neither is known as a two-way standout.

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse understands the magnitude of Leonard’s departure that he’s already entertaining the idea of converting 6-foot-10 Pascal Siakam into a small forward.

Of course, it will all depend on Siakam’s progress this offseason. If the reigning Most Improved Player of the Year shows that he can keep it up with elite wings in training camp and preseason games, then expect the Raptors to have a big starting frontline of Siakam, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol. On the other hand, if Siakam proves to be too big for a small forward, then it’s now up for Masai Ujiri to make a move.

At this point, the free agency pool no longer features a dependable perimeter player, so acquiring a reliable wing should be made via trade. Fortunately, Ujiri has the track record for pulling off great trades in the past, and no one should be really surprised, if the GM comes up with another win-win deal early or midway into the season.

Here are the five possible targets at small forward spot:

1

Danilo Gallinari (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Although he’s a natural stretch four, Gallinari has the ability to play well as a small forward. At 6-foot-10, 225-pounds, Gallo is nimble enough to play from the perimeter and big to pound the ball inside. The Italian is a career 38 percent three-point shooter, but he actually shot the ball better at 43 percent from deep last season. The Raptors direly lack a consistent three-point shooter on their roster, something that a player like Gallinari can provide.

2

Otto Porter Jr. (Chicago Bulls)

Otto Porter Jr. is the closest player the Raptors could get to suffice the void left by Kawhi Leonard. Like the two-time Finals MVP, Porter can impact the game on both ends of the floor. He’s an above-average perimeter defender and pretty good 3-point shooter at 40 percent. Consistency has been the biggest issue for Porter up to this point of his career, but he nevertheless showed flashes of a 20-point per game scorer, if featured more on offense.

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