Just a 5 team trade with 15 players moving today! This see's the Sixers tilt for the title, the Heat address multiple roster issues and the Raptors turn their roster other without consigning themselves to a multi year rebuild. Let's break down why each team does this trade:
Certainly the most affected team by this trade, the Raptors are in a super unique situation. They're a roster filled with desireable talent, but they aren't winning. I think the roster construction isn't right. They have too many 6'7-6'9 wings that makes them switchy and a potential matchup nightmare but while they wait for Scottie to develop they don't have a true high quality primary initiator. Siakam has been fantastic this year but long term I see them having to choose between 2 of Scottie, OG and Siakam. Due to their size and defensive skills they move Siakam here.
In exchange for Pascal they bring in a potenial primary initiator, someone who fits in with their transition game, can space on and off ball to a super high level and operate in the spread PNR on their timeline no less in Tyrese Maxey. Maxey is a perfect fit for this Raptors roster. With Fred moving on later in the trade the Raps have a perfect starting 5 to cover up his defensive short comings.
On top of the current fit as Scottie progresses and takes more and more on ball responsibility Maxey has already shown himself to be able to play off ball, making smart cuts and shooting well over 40% on assisted 3's. I'd expect Maxey to continue to develop in a situation where he gets more on ball reps and the Raptors to beenfit long term from bringing in an explosive scoring PG.
As mentioned above the roster balance in Toronto is wrong so the 2nd part of this trade see's Jakob Poeltl come back to Canada and the Raps get a true defensive center, adding some real rim protection to the roster. While it hurts their spacing it allows the Raptors to be more flexible on both sides of the ball. They can stray away from their zone scheme and Poeltl matches up better against the likes of Embiid and Jokic in the playoffs. Not only would Poeltl help defensively but he makes it easier for the likes of Maxey and Barnes to develop. Poeltl is a great PNR partner, he's an expert at establishing position when rim running and has great hands. At the moment the Raps can't really run guard, center PNR and it helps to have those easy on ball reps if you're trying to develop your passing skills. Look at the likes of Dejounte and Devin Vassell, they've benefitted grratly from having the bigman to bounce off of.
Those two are the cornerstone acquistions for the Raps. On top of that they bring in Tobias Harris. He's having a much better season this year than in recent memory and would further improve the Raps spacing. If Harris proved to be the right fit then you'd look to extend him for lower than his current contract if not then the Raptors open up a tonne of cap space in the 24-25 off season, allowing to reset their tax situation and potentially improve in FA.
Lowry gets a homecoming and can mentor Maxey while his contract runs down. He's still a useful player and would marshall 2nd units while enjoying a hero's welcome in Toronto.
Thybulle should get a run for the Raps, an intriguing defensive prospect I wrote about earlier in the week. I'm not sure his fit is ideal on the roster but I can see Nurse being enticed by his defensive accumen.
Korkmaz is salary filler while the 2nd's are for Juancho and Chris Boucher. Important to note that the picks and Luka Jovic that that the Raptors would be recieiving for FVV are rerouted to the Spurs for Poeltl. Overall this leaves the Raps in a great position for the future. All their picks intact, and a young star to pair with Barnes as well as the flexibility to pay OG and Poeltl while not getting into the tax in the next few years. It's a regression for now but it improves the Raps championship odds in the long run; particularly if they get a high pick in this years draft. I'd like to see them move Trent and Young to the Suns for additional draft capital to further relieve the tax situation.
They'd lineup like this in the short term:
PG: Maxey, SG: Annunoby, SF: Harris, PF: Barnes, C: Poeltl, 6th man: Lowry, rotation: Achuiwa, Banton, Koloko, Thybulle
76ers: This trade is actually due to the impressive form of De'Anthony Melton, I think he compliments Harden better than Tyrese Maxey in the back court thus freeing up Maxey to be used in a trade for that fated 3rd star to pair with Harden and Embiid. Siakam is a brilliant player to bring in as 3rd of a big 3. Excellent defensively and multi skilled on ball, Siakam is super versatile and can initiate offence or compliment championship stars. These moves see the roster slant more defesively. The additions of Delon Wright and Otto Porther further round our the roster. The Sixers would lineup like this:
PG: Harden, SG: Melton, SF: Tucker, PF: Siakam, C: Embiid, 6th man: Otto Porter, rotation: Wright, Milton, Harrell, House, Niang
Heat: The Heat sacrafice their 23ast and 22 pick Jovic to move on from Lowry and Oladipo while plugging their hole at the 4 spot. VanVleet is an upgrade on Lowry at this stage, a better defensve player. Fred can play on and off ball, run round screens and shoot off the catch and dribble. He's a super smart player and I see Spo loving him. The Heat would extend him this year and he joins as a 4th high quality guy next to Butler, Adebayo and Herro. On top of adding Fred the Raps add Boucher. A compliment to Bam in the front court with good size and Robinson remains on the roster as I don't see them wanting to give up more assets at the moment and the contracts they move here are less damaging.
The Heat would lineup like this: PG: VanVleet, SG: Herro, SF: Butler, PF: Boucher, C: Adebayo - 6th man Strus, rotation, C.Martin, Vincent, Dedmon, Juancho, Highsmith
Wizards: Simpler trade for the Wiz, seemingly destined for 11th, why not move Wright their back up PG to two young guys in.
Spurs: The SPurs could happily hold onto Poeltl but this is a good return for him, a versatile rookie with on ball skills in Jovic, a 1st in this years draft and salary that clears by the time they'll be looking to compete again.
Let me know your thoughts on the trade, mainly for the Raps and the 76ers. Thanks for reading, be sure to like!