After failing to dethrone LeBron James as the King of the East, the Toronto Raptors are expected to make a huge roster overhaul in the upcoming offseason. On Tuesday night, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN revealed on NBA Draft: On The Clock that no one in Toronto is “untouchable,” even the explosive superstar duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.
“One thing about Masai Ujiri: He has never been afraid to talk about his star players in trade talks,” Wojnarowski said (h/t DefPen Hoops‘ Rob Lopez). “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.”
According to Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report, the New York Knicks could take advantage of the ongoing situation in Toronto by trying to make an offer for DeMar DeRozan. In Highkin’s proposed trade scenario, the Knicks will be sending Joakim Noah, Ron Baker, and Frank Ntilikina to the Raptors for DeRozan. The deal proves to be very beneficial for the Knicks.
The acquisition of DeMar DeRozan could help them end their five-year playoff drought. DeRozan will give them another reliable scoring option to ease the load on Kristaps Porzingis’ shoulder on the offensive ends of the floor. The 28-year-old shooting guard hasn’t been a consistent three-point shooter when he entered the NBA in 2009, but last season, he showed massive improvement, averaging 31 percent from beyond the arc.
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) June 6, 2018
Aside from acquiring a legitimate superstar to play alongside Porzingis, the deal will enable the Knicks to get rid of Joakim Noah and the remaining two years and $37.8 million on his contract. Since the arrival of Enes Kanter last summer, Noah found himself out of the Knicks’ rotation, forcing him to publicly express his desire to move out of the team. The veteran center wants to be on a team that can give him the opportunity to prove himself once again in the league.
Meanwhile, it remains questionable if the Raptors should push through with the deal. The suggested offer is clearly not enough as compensation for the potential departure of DeMar DeRozan in Toronto unless the Knicks are willing to add draft picks to sweeten the deal. However, according to Highkin, the Raptors will be acquiring the Knicks’ second-best young piece in Frank Ntilikina. This will allow them to get much younger and cheaper in the backcourt, and if they also decide to move Kyle Lowry, the Raptors could center their rebuild on Ntilikina. Regarding Noah and Ron Baker, Highkin suggested that the Raptors could buy out or stretch their contract.