PG carousel today, the Raptors essentially admit that they should start a soft rebuild, move off of Fred instead of extending him, enabling both the Heat and the Wolves to compete at a higher level in the short term. Here's why each team does this trade.
Raptors: Painful, moving on from a championship player, apparently a cornerstone of the culture, but the best GM's are the ruthless ones. Massai needs to start cashing in on this team to avoid levelling out as a 2nd round exit Playoff roster. In this scenario Lowry comes home and the Raptors acquire two young pieces that provide better value contracts than what they'll have to start paying in the next couple of year sfor the likes of FVV, Trent and even Siakam. Naz Reid is the main return in this trade. The Raptors clearly need a starting calibre 5 and Reid has been underutilised time after time, first behind KAT now behind both Gobert and Towns. Reid is a versatile big who can space from deep, thrives in PNR coverage and over the last 2 years his per 36 numbers equate to 20 PPG - 9 Rebounds - 2 Blocks. At 23 the Raps acquire hiim and extend him long term, showing some faith, securing him for around the $60,000,000 for 4 years mark. On top of the Reid acquisition they bring in Wendell Moore, the kind of profile of player who's missing from their roster at the moment. A connective piece who can playmake, shoot and guard at respectable levels. Over the next 4 years he can be a cheap rotation piece that could replace Gary Trent long term, enabling them to pay the likes of OG and Scottie. On top of the two young acquisitions Lowry returns and essentially finishes his career in Toronto, a playe rthat can steady the ship. I can see Lowry being good for Scottie's development and someone who'll hold the rest of the dressing room accountable. The long term plan for the Raptors is to complete a brief two year rebuild, this year and next. They pick high in this years draft, hopefully picking up a perimeter talent and when Lowry and Dedmon's contract come off the books they make a run at the championship, utilising the fact that Scottie will be in the last year of his rookie deal and that they'll have a plethora of assets to acquire a superstar.
Wolves: If the Wolves were to make this tarde I see them flying up the standings in the Western Conference. It's confusing, looking at the Wolves roster they have plenty of starting level players but it isn't quite coming together. FVV comes in for Russell and acts as a much better backcourt partner for Ant than DLo, requiring less usage, offering better spacing and playing better at the POA. On top of Fred the Wolves would bring in another big wing with shooting talent in Otto Porter and take a flyer on Juancho. These two add to the big switchy wing profile that the Wolves lack other than McDaniels, protecting KAT and Gobert by offering better resistance on the perimeter. Lastly Duncan Robinson heads to Minnesota and offers them a different dimension to what they have at present albeit on a negative contract. Robinson should be able to benefit from the gravity of Ant, Kat and FVV and if not he adds some simple go to actions that bench units can run. If it works then Robinson rediscovers his shooting form and challenges for a starting spot. If not, they can package the Miami 1st they get in this trade to move him on once more. Heat: Finally, this is a problem solving trade for Miami. They move off of a super negative contract in Robinson, bring in two Power Forwards on expiring deals and potentially address their lack of perimeter scoring by swapping Russell for Lowry. Russell has actually been linked to the Heat by Brian Windhorst and it makes sense. Regardless of his deficiencies he's a high IQ player who could form a great PNR partnership with Bam and could be renewed on a cheaper contract this offseason, rehabbing his reputation in one of the best cultures in the league. On top of DLo Thad Young is a veteran who can plug and play at the 4, switchingt onto smaller forwards. He should enjoy working under Spo who used PJ Tucker to great effect last year. Taurean Prince comes in as well as another roleplayer who would challenge Young for the 4 spot. Taurean is a decent 3&D wing with a non guaranteed next year. I think they'd battel witheachother to be kept on the roster next year and the Heat would hope that Jovic starts to step up in his 2nd season or that they can pick up a starting PF in FA this year.
Let me know what you think of this trade. It's a good combination of creative thinking and rumoured moves. Ultimately I want to profile a Raps rebuild but that can wait till the offseason!