The Toronto Raptors headed into the 2020-21 NBA season with the goal of conquering the Eastern Conference and winning their second NBA championship. However, with the current talents on their roster, it remains a big question mark if the Raptors have what it takes to beat Eastern powerhouses like the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Philadelphia 76ers in a best-of-seven series. If they are serious about achieving their main goal this year, they might have to consider making major upgrades to their roster before the 2021 trade deadline.
One of the potential trade targets for Toronto is veteran center Andre Drummond of the Cleveland Cavaliers. According to Jason Mills of Fansided's Raptors Rapture, the Raptors could acquire Drummond from the Cavs by sending them a package that includes Kyle Lowry and three future first-round picks.
"The Raptors would be better served waiting to see if Drummond is bought out, but the Cavs seem to have no interest in doing so. Therefore the framework of a deal again involving Lowry and three first-round picks could get the Raptors a true center lost when Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol were both allowed to leave in free agency. Solving the center issue could make the Raptors legit title contenders. If it costs a few years of draft capital to make that dream a reality, [president of basketball operations Masai] Ujiri might need to go for broke once more and consummate this trade."
The departure of Lowry would likely break the hearts of Raptors' fans, but Ujiri doesn't seem like someone who would think twice before making such a move, especially if he thinks that it would strengthen their chances of winning another championship. He had done it before when they traded DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for Kawhi Leonard, who helped the team capture its first Larry O'Brien Trophy in 2019.
Drummond may not be as good as Leonard, but Mills believes that adding him to the core of Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby could turn the Raptors from an average playoff-caliber team to a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference. Drummond could tremendously boost their performance on both ends of the floor, giving them a very reliable scoring option under the basket, a monster rebounder, and a quality rim protector.
This season, he's averaging 18.5 points, 14.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.7 steals while shooting 48.1 percent from the field, per ESPN. However, before giving up all those assets to the Cavaliers, Toronto may first have to get an assurance from the big man that he intends to stay with them beyond the 2020-21 season. He's currently on the final year of his contract and set to become an unrestricted free agent in the 2021 offseason.