The Toronto Raptors are gearing up for another disappointing season. They are in a weird place, between a rebuild and challenging for the playoffs. It is clear they are far removed from the 2019 NBA championship form. However, there are still hopes in the only Canadian NBA franchise that the team can make the postseason. Right now, they are 13-15 and they are still in the conversation for one of the first ten spots in the Eastern Conference. To achieve this place, or go further into their rebuilding process, here are two players the Raptors must move for at the 2022 NBA deadline.

Raptors trade targets

Davis Bertans (Washington Wizards) 

If they want to take the route of challenging for the playoffs, they must go for Bertans. It is very clear that the Raptors need shooting. Right now, their best three-point shooter, percentage-wise, is Fred VanVleet, with a 38.4% efficiency. Overall, according to Basketball Reference, the Raptors are just 19th in three-point shooting percentage, 22nd in three-pointers attempted, and just 21st in three-pointers made. This is the modern NBA and they really need this area of the game to improve.

Bertans is not ideal, of course, but with their resources, he is the best option available. Of course, the Latvian is currently playing for the Wizards, who were perceived to value him as a key part of their rotation. Unfortunately for Bertans, he has not been able to dial it in this season. The Wizards have other pieces taking shots away from him, and he is only attempting 4.3 shots from behind the arc per game. In the Raptors, however, he could be the offensive spark off the bench and the key attacker of the second line-up.

As said above, Bertans is not having a good season. He is only averaging 6.0 points on 30% shooting from three, but there is reason to believe he can turn it around. In the two years before that, he averaged 13.4 points (when both seasons are taken together) and 41% from three, on eight attempts per game. Those are great numbers and usually, players really do not lose their touch. This is a different issue and could be a lack of confidence. That usually stems from a loss of trust from the coaching staff, which makes sense when it is considered that the Wizards have a new coach that clearly does not use Bertans much. The Raptors could benefit from this and get him at a reduced price.

Obviously, he would not start for the Raptors. That spot is occupied by the likes of OG Anunoby and Scottie Barnes, but he relishes the opportunity to attack second line-ups and reserves. Bertans really never was a starter in his NBA career, and in his best season, the first in Washington, he started just four games, out of the 54 he played. He would be a great boost for the offense and someone that can be completely revived in another setting.

Marvin Bagley III (Sacramento Kings) 

If the Raptors, however, choose to go a different route and rebuild, there is no other place to start than Sacramento and Bagley. This is a heartbreaking story of the former second pick in the draft who landed in the worst possible setting and organization. Bagley is a good player and he clearly wants to play. As ESPN reported in mid-October, his agent was blasting the Kings for putting him out of the rotation and then deciding not to trade him. The young forward badly needs a reset and the Raptors do have a hole in their frontcourt.

Of course, one spot is reserved for Pascal Siakam. The Raptors put a lot of trust into Siakam to lead them, but he still needs someone to pair up with in the frontcourt. The fifth-year player has been paired up with many players under the rim, including the likes of Barnes and Precious Achiuwa. However, both of these require Siakam to play center, which he should not do. The right thing to do would be to play him at power forward and add a center next to him. It is exactly there where Bagley comes in.

In his first three seasons in Sacramento, when he actually featured, Bagley spent around 50% of his playing time at center. In those seasons, he averaged 14.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, while shooting a respectable 49.7% from the field. Paired up with Siakam, however, should also get Bagley motivated to play better. In Toronto, Bagley might really explode and turn into the player many saw glimpses of in the first three seasons.

Most importantly of all, Toronto is a healthy place for any player. This Raptors team is mostly devoid of any problems and controversies, and that is what Bagley really needs – peace and stability. There are some teams in the league where he can get the same, but the Raptors would be able to offer him a lot of playing time combined with the stability he needs. If the Kings are willing to sit down, and if the Raptors are willing to go for it, Bagley and the Canadian team look like a match made in heaven.