Trade Deadline Marathon: Day 6.3
ORL receives: J. Valanciunas, N. Powell, CJ Miles, Delon Wright, OG Anunoby, TOR 2021 First Round Pick.
TOR receives: Aaron Gordon, N. Vucevic, J. Simmons
If the Raptors are satisfied with their NBA-best 31-12 record, then who’s to blame them for sitting on their hands during what’s almost certain to be a flurry of a trade season? It’s not every day that teams on a 60-win pace decide to trade away a third of their current roster. Frankly, there’s a better chance of Hell freezing over than Masai Ujiri hitting the roster-reshuffle button with the force of a Zion Williamson dunk.
But it’s trade season here at OTG, and that means anything is possible, especially when a trade-happy team such as the Orlando Magic is involved.
Seeing as Orlando is taking on long-term salary, in addition to losing their two best players in Gordon and Vucevic, the Raptors probably have to part with an unprotected first round pick to get Magic general manager John Hammond to pick up the phone.
The Magic receive a starting center in JV to capably replace Vucevic, who is balling out at a near All-Star level in a contract year, and thus is likely to depart in free agency this offseason anyways. They also happily take the slumping CJ Miles off of the Raptors books in order to procure a desperately needed high-upside point guard in Delon Wright. Finally, they receive the uber-athletic small forward duo of Norman Powell and OG Anunoby in exchange for the underperforming Jonathon Simmons (who could greatly benefit from a change of scenery).
The Raptors, meanwhile, land the recently extended Aaron Gordon and allow him to start with his trade buddy, Vucevic, in a lineup rounded out by Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, and Kawhi Leonard. The Raptors would likely benefit greatly in the short term from such an infusion of star power, and can rely on a bench unit composed of VanVleet, Simmons, Siakam, Ibaka, and Monroe when the starters need rest.
In short, the Magic get younger, tank harder, receive value for Vucevic, and move out of the potential albatross contract recently given to the still-developing Gordon. The Raptors sacrifice depth and young building blocks in order to win now, without obtaining players that are past-prime.