Following the Toronto Raptors’ playoff exit at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the franchise will be heading into an intriguing offseason. Dwane Casey has already been relieved of his duties as the Raptors’ head coach and it appears that even bigger changes may soon be on the horizon.
According to a report from Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Raptors have shopped DeMar DeRozan in trade discussions. Stein also mentions that the Raptors could do so once again this offseason. Breaking up the roster may be the only way for the Raptors to find a way past the Cavaliers, and DeRozan is their most valuable trade piece.
“Word is that the Raptors quietly explored their DeMar DeRozan trade options last summer — before they had any inkling that a breakout season was looming — and I’d fully expect Toronto to explore those possibilities again. Not just with DeRozan but with anyone and everyone on the roster.”
Trading DeRozan would shake up the outlook of the Eastern Conference. He is one of the top scorers in the NBA, but has failed to live up to the hype surrounding him in the playoffs. That could be getting frustrating for Raptors management.
During the 2017-18 regular season with the Raptors, DeRozan averaged 23.0 points, 5.2 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game. He shot 45.6 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 31.0 percent of his three-point attempts. DeRozan’s numbers are impressive and it seems strange that Toronto would consider trading him at this point in his career.
DeRozan is just 28-years-old and is in the prime of his career. If they are serious about trading him, the Raptors need to be getting an All-Star back in return or at least a couple of young players with serious All-Star potential.
Toronto signed Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka to new contracts last offseason. DeRozan has three more years remaining on his deal. Those contracts don’t give the Raptors much of a chance to change up the roster unless they move one of their core pieces.
Lowry and Ibaka could very well be shopped in trade talks this offseason as well. There is no guarantee that the Raptors are seriously considering trading DeRozan. If an offer blows them away, however, DeRozan could very well end up being on his way out of Canada.
Expect to hear trade rumors surround DeRozan this offseason. He may be a growing star in the NBA, but that does not mean that the Raptors view him as untouchable.