The Raptors are on the lookout for a center as free agency begins and while multiple outlets have linked Rudy Gobert to the franchise, the near 7-footer that Toronto ends up acquiring might be someone on a less expensive contract.
Isaiah Hartenstein and Thomas Bryant are two names to watch, according to Michael Grange of SportsNet. Bringing back Hartenstein could be problematic for the Clippers after they opted to pledge their taxpayer mid-level exception to John Wall and ink Ivica Zubac to a three-year, $33 million extension. The Wizards’ plans for Bryant, who hits unrestricted free agency after playing in just 27 games last season, remains unclear. In either situation, Toronto could take advantage of what looks to be a buyer’s market for centers.
The trade market still remains an option, however, and with the Spurs heading toward what appears to be a full-on rebuild, Jakob Poeltl is a trade candidate. It was previously reported that Toronto had engaged with San Antonio at the trade deadline about a re-union with Poeltl.
As for the Raptors’ own free agent big man, Grange envisions Chris Boucher returning on a deal in the ballpark of $24 million over two seasons and reports that the franchise is in a good position to bring back Thaddeus Young, as the front office views the veteran as someone who can further mentor the team’s youth.
More NBA Trade Rumors
- The Pacers could be a darkhorse contender for a Deandre Ayton sign-and-trade, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst explains on the latest episode of the Hoops Collective. Windhorst also names the Timberwolves as a team that has a close watch on Ayton, as Minnesota is looking for a defensive-mind center to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns. Ayton has been connected to a number of other teams, including the Pistons and Nets by various outlets, and it’s looking more and more certain that the former No. 1 overall pick will end up playing outside of Phoenix next season.
- While some have speculated that the Cavaliers could trade Isaac Okoro given their addition of Ochai Agbaji and need for additional offense on the wing, Matt Moore of the Action Network hears that the franchise has plans to move the former No. 5 overall pick. Moore also hears that the Pistons have interest in Collin Sexton. It’s unclear what kind of offer Detroit is willing to make now that they’ve absorbed additional salary in the Nerlens Noel/Alec Burks trade.
- The Lakers have been in contact with the Pacers about Buddy Hield, Moore adds (same piece). Los Angeles infamously nearly traded for Hield last summer before reaching an agreement with the Wizards to acquire Russell Westbrook.
- The Wizards are unlikely to make a play for Sexton now that they have traded for Will Barton and Monte Morris. Washington is seemingly out on Tyus Jones and Malcolm Brogdon as well. Yet, the franchise still has the MLE at its disposal and Delon Wright is a name that’s been linked to the franchise.
- Rival teams believe the Lakers are targeting Coby White via trade, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles reports. White, who was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 draft, is rumored to be available in trade discussions with Chicago.