Bold details emerge from Raptors trading plans

NBA Analytics Network

The next few weeks will be extremely important for the Toronto Raptors. They need to outperform on their expectations as they approach the halfway point of the 2022-2023 NBA season. As a result, they can be surprise sellers before the trade deadline.

The Raptors are currently 17-23 and going the wrong way in the Eastern Conference standings. They face out in the NBA Play-In Tournament and are ranked 12th in the standings.

If things are not turned around quickly, they will have to make some tough decisions before the deadline. Toronto is staring at the luxury tax, which will also affect the decision-making process.

As detailed by Marc Stein on his Substack, the Raptors’ long-term plans will be revealed in the coming weeks. Fred VanVleet is a player to keep an eye on as he could become free this summer. The same is probably true for Gary Trent Jr., who is also in the trading bloc.

“The much harder read in Toronto is what happens to Fred VanVleet, who passed on a $114 million contract extension early in the season in hopes of scoring a more lucrative deal this summer. If the Raptors don’t part ways with VanVleet before the February 9 deadline, that would indicate they expect to re-sign him. As of today, January 9, only Trent is described as being available in Toronto with any regularity.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Gary Trent Jr & Toronto Raptors Updates

Many people speculated that the Raptors could break their core during the 2021 off-season, but they chose not to. That could happen before the 2023 deadline as the Raptors roster could use a shake-up.

Toronto hunted big game in the off-season, as they tied in varying degrees with Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell in the trade market. No deal was made, as reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes Jr. would not involve in trade negotiations. Barnes isn’t going anywhere right now either, but they could be more open to sharing some of their other rotational players like Trent.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Gary Trent Jr & Toronto Raptors Updates

We’re going to be learning a lot about the Raptors in the coming weeks. The players they’ve designated as long-term building blocks will be revealed to some degree as they also have to worry about not diving into the luxury tax for a roster that’s currently unwinning.

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