It is draft week. The Mavericks and their fans have been waiting for this time of year since they realized they were going to end up in the lottery. With the fifth pick, the Mavs are undoubtedly going to get phone calls from teams trying to trade up or even into the draft. One team expected to be hungry to acquire a draft pick is the Toronto Raptors, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.
The Raptors are reportedly making anyone and everyone available on their roster in trade talks. With no picks in this upcoming draft, Toronto’s only trade chips are future picks and active players. One prospect the team has their eyes on is Kentucky’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is projected to go in the latter half of the lottery on Thursday night. One attractive item that has been mentioned in trade talks includes the team’s backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Starting big man Jonas Valanciunas is another name that has frequented rumors swirling the organization. After the firing of former head coach Dwayne Casey, it would not be surprising to see the team blow it up this summer.
According to one league source, no one on Toronto's roster is off limits as the Raptors pursue a top-10 pick https://t.co/AZzCv8fPXD
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 18, 2018
While the Mavericks have been rumored to be involved in trade talks all summer, the Raptors are not one team they should be discussing a deal with. Bleacher Report recently proposed an idea that would send DeMar DeRozan, a 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick to Dallas for Wesley Matthews and the fifth overall pick. While DeRozan is an established player in the league, he does the exact opposite of what the fifth pick would do: makes the Mavericks older and reverses the rebuild process. This is the case with other trade chips Toronto may try to entice Dallas with.
DeRozan put up very similar numbers to Harrison Barnes last season and is two years older. Their style of play is synonymous to each other and placing the two together in a lineup may be counterintuitive. Kyle Lowry, another player that Toronto might include in a package for the fifth pick, is a 32-year-old point guard that would only slow the progress of Dennis Smith Jr. Smith currently holds the reigns of Rick Carlisle’s offense, and bringing in a starting-caliber veteran like Lowry would only hinder his ability to run this team. Jonas Valanciunas is an above-average big man in the NBA, but his talent and age limit how much more he can truly grow. The fifth pick, on the other hand, could bring Dallas one of the many talented young big men in this draft that the team could develop into a polarizing player. Besides perhaps OG Anunoby, these three players may be the most valuable pieces Toronto could center a trade around, and none of them make sense for the Mavericks.
Last season, the Mavericks’ average age was 27.2, which was younger than they had been in years. The fifth pick is just another step in the right direction. A trade with the Raptors would be a step in the wrong direction.
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