The Toronto Raptors continue to prove that they made the right decision to trade DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard last summer. With Leonard on their roster, the Raptors entered the 2018-19 NBA season as one of the favorite NBA teams to dominate the Eastern Conference. As of now, the Raptors have won eight of their last 10 games and are currently sitting in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 34-13 record.
However, the Raptors are still looking to upgrade their roster before the February NBA trade deadline. According to Ken Berger of Bleacher Report, the Raptors have made it known to the entire league that they are interested in adding an elite shooting guard to their team, and Bradley Beal is among their top trade targets. Berger suggested that the Raptors could offer a trade package including Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, and a future first-round pick to the Wizards for Beal.
“In the East, Toronto and Boston are among the most motivated teams to come calling, for obvious but unique reasons. The Raptors have made it known in front-office circles that they’re interested in adding an elite shooting guard, rival executives say. A package including Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright and a first-round pick might be a sensible starting point to the discussion, one of the execs said.”
Two teams at the top of the East are interested in making a move for Bradley Beal, but are the Wizards willing to part with their young star?— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 19, 2019
NBA executives weigh in on the trade market for the sharpshooterhttps://t.co/NEB2kZ2bl5 pic.twitter.com/TvcuuV2O1t
The acquisition of Bradley Beal will undeniably boost the Raptors’ performance, especially on the offensive end of the floor. This season, the 25-year-old shooting guard is averaging 24.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 1.4 steals on 46.9 percent shooting from the field, and 35.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc. The starting lineup featuring Kyle Lowry, Beal, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, and Serge Ibaka will not only make the Raptors the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference, but it could also give them a real chance of beating the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors in a best-of-seven series.
However, the Raptors aren’t the only team who’s expected to express strong interest once the Wizards officially make Bradley Beal available on the trading block. As Berger noted, other Eastern Conference playoff contenders like the Boston Celtics and the Indiana Pacers could also join the pursuit for Beal. The Celtics could explore a trade package centered on Jaylen Brown, while the Pacers could use Myles Turner as their main trade chip. If they are serious about acquiring Beal, the Raptors should come up with a trade offer that can convince the Wizards to immediately make a deal.