The Toronto Raptors are looking for changes in the roster ahead of a tough playoff season. The franchise is closer to a six-man trade with Denver Nuggets to bring in Kenneth Faried, JJ Hickson and Nicola Jokic by trading off Jonas Valanciunas, Patrick Patterson and James Johnson.
Valanciunas was touted as a key figure in Toronto’s game plan. The Raptors have a huge deal with Valanciunas, Kyle Lowry and DeMarre Carroll. Valanciunas recently sustained an injury and has been sidelined, and the proposed trade goes in the opposite direction of their prior game plan.
DeRozan is set to become an All-Star soon, and was named the best player of the Eastern Conference for last week. But Masai Ujiri is reluctant to hold any extension talks with DeRozan. The six-man trade sacrifices the center position for getting a power forward. The Lithuanian center was having a great season prior to getting injured, and some Raptors fans are opposed to the trade.
Brian O’Rourke is in favor of the trade. “The Denver deal to me is one that I could actually see coming to fruition and I’ll tell you why. Number one, Masai drafted Faried and has been linked in trade talks for him since coming to Toronto and we need a starting calibre PF badly,” he wrote.
A James Johnson trade is also on the cards. According to a source, the Raptors may bring in Nik Stauskas from the 76ers by trading Johnson.