3. Toronto Raptors
Raptors President Masai Ujiri will keep teams guessing all offseason, just as he did at the trade deadline in February. Toronto was expected to start piecing apart its roster with players like OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet ever-present on the market.
Instead, Ujiri zagged when he was supposed to zig and sent a first-round pick, along with a pair of second rounders, to San Antonio to add center Jakob Poeltl.
Still, the Raptors just bowed out of the playoff chase after losing to the Chicago Bulls in the East play-in tournament. Will that be the impetus for an offseason of change in Toronto, or will it just make Ujiri more determined to fix the core he’s built?
VanVleet is a free agent, as is former Blazer Gary Trent Jr. Poeltl needs an extension as well, unless the Raptors decide to punt and waste a first-round pick.
Turnover is going to be inevitable in Toronto this summer, and maybe Portland can use that to its advantage.
The Blazers were a player in the Anunoby sweepstakes leading up to the trade deadline and could (perhaps should) revisit that situation. It would take a ton to land Siakam, but it sounds like the sort of move Portland could be desperate enough to make.
Again, Simons would be a perfect fit for a team starved for a shot creator, especially in the backcourt. He would also align more closely with the timeline of Scottie Barnes, who it appears the Raptors plan to build the franchise around.
If Cronin is finally going to do what he hasn’t yet – and what his predecessor Neil Olshey never accomplished – and take a major swing, these three teams could potentially scratch Lillard’s itch for another superstar.