Speaking with a Toronto-based radio station, ESPN Insider Brian Windhorst noted that the Toronto Raptors have been “pretty aggressive” in the trade market, and cited Nets forward Thaddeus Young as one of the players the team was pursuing.
Windhorst, speaking with Dave Naylor and Derek Taylor of TSN Drive, was responding to a question about if the Raptors could contend in the Eastern Conference with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who currently sit two games ahead of the Raptors. Here’s the relevant portion of Windhorst’s comments (listen about six minutes in if you want to hear it yourself):
I think they’re gonna go for it. I think from what I understand, from what I’m hearing, they’re pretty aggressive in the trade market. They’re looking for power forwards. I’ve heard them attached to Thaddeus Young. I’ve heard them attached to (Nuggets forward) Kenneth Faried. I’ve heard them attached to (Suns forward) Markieff Morris. They have extra draft picks. I wouldn’t trade that New York Knicks pick unless it was for a blockbuster acquisition, because you can’t protect it, you can’t protect another team’s pick. I would do it if I could put, like, a top-five protection on it. But you can’t do that. You can’t say, allright, we’ll give you two of our picks if it falls in the top five. But they have assets to do it. They have some young players.
Young is in the midst of a solid season, averaging over 15 points and 9 rebounds per game, and is on a team-friendly four-year contract that will net Young about $12 million per season even as the cap rises. At 27 years old and still in his prime, that makes Young an intriguing trade target for any team looking for a power forward.
Both the Nets and Raptors are over the cap, so the teams would need to match salaries to make any potential deal work. That likely means that one of Cory Joseph (making $7 million per annum through 2018-19) or Patrick Patterson (a little over $6 million through next season) would have to be included in the deal, plus another player or two on a smaller deal.
Along with owning all of their own first-round picks, the Raptors have two extra first-rounders: they own the less favorable first-rounder between the Knicks & Nuggets (two likely lottery teams), and a first-round pick from the Los Angeles Clippers that should convey this season. As Windhorst notes, it’s unlikely that they would trade the Knicks/Nuggets pick for anything that’s not a blockbuster deal, but if the team is intent on contending now, they might be willing to part with future assets.
This isn’t the first time Young’s name has made the trade rounds this season. Last week, a rumor popped up that the Pistons were interested in a Young-Brandon Jennings swap. Both sides publicly shot that down, with Pistons president & coach Stan Van Gundy calling the rumor “made-up s***.”.
The Nets do not have a general manager.
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