Firing head coach Dwane Casey, the most successful clipboard-wielder in franchise history, may not be the only drama the Toronto Raptors author this offseason.
Apparently, they’re open to trading, well, everyone.
Here’s ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski speaking on the matter (via Def Pen Hoops’ Rob Lopez):
Woj says the #Raptors want to get their coaching search wrapped up in the next week. Nick Nurse 'remains a strong possibility' to get the job. Ettore Messina made a 'very good impression'
He also says Masai Ujiri will talk about almost anyone on their roster. pic.twitter.com/520PRLRQRV
— Rob Lopez (@r0bato) June 5, 2018
And here’s Woj’s exact words, courtesy of Bleacher Report’s Alec Nathan:
“One thing about Masai Ujiri: He has never been afraid to talk about his star players in trade talks,” Wojnarowski said. “He’s not going to tell you anybody’s untouchable, and teams around the league know that. So they’ll talk about almost anything with this roster.”
Just so we’re clear, there’s a difference between the Raptors remaining open-minded and actively shopping certain players. They may not view Kyle Lowry or DeMar DeRozan as indispensable, but that doesn’t mean they’re hocking them up and down the trade block.
Will Lowry and DeRozan, along with perhaps Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas, find their way onto the rumor mill this summer? Absolutely. But the most likely outcome still includes all of them staying put. None of them are on particularly desirable contracts. Ibaka might be immovable, and DeRozan and Valanciunas will net minimum value. Lowry is the best asset of the bunch, and his $30 million-plus cap hit makes it difficult for teams to squeeze him onto the books.
Look instead to players like Norman Powell or CJ Miles—players who help the Raptors evade the tax or detract from their overall bill, but who don’t ultimately qualify as blockbuster exits. In the meantime, brace yourself for rumors that project the opposite. The Raptors will be speculation-mill staples once they hire a new head coach. Treat each batch of scuttlebutt with a grain of salt unless they link specific players to specific teams offering specific packages.