Trade Deadline Marathon: Day 3.5
Isn’t it nice to see franchise icons return home? Much like Dwyane Wade’s journey around the league before returning to his old stomping grounds in Miami, Vince Carter has been making pit-stops all across the league, perhaps in anticipation of finally returning to the team that drafted him. Love him or hate him, Vince Carter was perhaps the greatest thing to happen to the Raptors franchise in their entire 24-year existence; a trade that could bring him home while simultaneously improving the Raptors for their inevitable playoff run would have to pique the interest of the front office.
Here, the Raptors send Atlanta some young pieces in Norman Powell and Delon Wright, and give them a starting center in Jonas Valanciunas to line up with & mentor incumbent sophomore sensation John Collins. Delon Wright can start alongside Trae Young (should the Hawks trade Jeremy Lin), freeing up Trae as a spot-up shooter in certain sets, or take over the lead reserve role off the bench. The Hawks are trying to build toward a competitive team in the future, so it makes sense that all of the pieces they are acquiring are relatively young (ages, 25, 26, and 26, respectively), with their athletic primes still ahead of them.
Atlanta gives the Raptors a floor-spacing veteran centre in Dedmon (shooting 36.5% from 3pt land this year), a solid veteran wing in Kent Bazemore (putting up a line of 14/4/3), a young high-value piece in Taurean Prince, and as a bonus bring franchise legend Vince Carter back home. The Raptors most likely have to part with both a first and second round pick to get the Hawks to bite.
This trade may not add any starters to the Raptors line-up, but it certainly adds capable depth to the roster for the stretch run, and it shifts their focus towards winning now in the currently expectation-loaded season rather than developing younger pieces.
The Hawks take three players who do not fit their competitive timeline and convert them into three players who do, while only sending away a single young piece and snatching hold of two draft picks, which could add more young talent to a team looking to build from the ground up.