The Toronto Raptors are expected to make some noise weeks heading into the midseason trade deadline. As a matter of fact, the ball club is currently linked to a potential trade for Boston Celtics and former All-Star power forward David Lee.
Lee, who won a championship with the Golden State Warriors last season, is playing just 15 minutes per game with the Boston Celtics following an offseason trade.
Although the Raptors clearly looking to add more beef in their frontline, absorbing Lee and his $15 million salary really doesn’t make sense as opined by FanSided writer Paul Taylor.
“In truth, such a move [Lee to Toronto] makes little sense, with the main reason being the salary cap impact for the Raptors. Lee’s $15.4 million contract brings major complications, with a third team likely needed to help facilitate any deal.”
While his current season statistics (7.2 points per game) might be due to lack of playing time, there’s no denying Lee is already way past his prime and one that cannot help the Raptors get them over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East playoffs.
Certainly, the best time to load up the lineup will be about five months from now when some of the finest players in the world hit free-agency. However, if the Raptors really want to win now, here are the three best trade options other than David Lee.
Markieff Morris – Yes, the disgruntled Suns forward are looking for a new home and the Raptors seem to be an ideal destination for him. He brings versatility to the table and range at the power forward position.
John Henson – the Raptors go defense this season when they signed DeMarre Carroll, one of the finest perimeter defenders in the league. So why not adding a budding star and outstanding shot-blocker into the mix? Henson is averaging almost two blocks per game and he can certainly boost the Raps rim protection.
Jamal Crawford – the Raptors bench took a blow after losing Lou Williams to free-agency last offseason. Bench scoring is an important component of the team last season and they are surely lacking more offensive punch this year. Crawford’s name has been circling around trade chatter for quite some time. At 35, Crawford is still a potent scorer, averaging 12 points on 25 minutes of action.
Time is ticking fast for the Raptors to make a decision. Will they make a move or will they not? Everything will be determined on trade deadline.
Photos courtesy of AFP/Reuters