The Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs pulled off one of the many trades made right before the trade deadline Thursday. The Raptors acquired Thaddeus Young, Drew Eubanks and a 2022 second round pick. The pick comes via the Detroit Pistons. In return, Toronto sent Goran Dragic and a protected 2022 first round pick back to the Spurs.
The Raptors are possibly the hottest team in the NBA right now. They have won seven straight games, vaulting them all the way to sixth in the deep Eastern Conference. Clearly, Toronto is trying get better and make a surprisingly deep run, similar to what we saw last year from the Atlanta Hawks.
Meanwhile, the Spurs are at the other end of the spectrum. They have lost seven of their last 10 games and are 20-35 on the season. The Spurs are looking to the future and this trade backs up that premise.
Here are the draft grades for the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs.
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Grading the Toronto Raptors – San Antonio Spurs trade
RAPTORS – (B+)
From Toronto’s side, this move made a lot of sense. Dragic has only played in a handful of games this season due to his decision to leave the team for a personal matter. He wasn’t doing any good in Toronto after spending the previous six plus seasons with the Miami Heat.
In return, they landed a proven veteran that can eat up minutes and play efficient basketball. Thaddeus Young is in his 15th season in the NBA. So, he is no spry chicken. But he has always been a consistent performer when on the court. Despite his advanced age (33), his shooting percentages have gone even higher in recent years.
Toronto features the three players who average the most minutes per game in the entire NBA. Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby play more minutes than anyone, leaving a really short bench. The addition of Young should allow their wings and forwards to get a bit more rest knowing an offensive option is still on the court.
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Young is only averaging six points per game with the Spurs this season, but has only played 14 minutes per game. So, he should have plenty left in the tank for the stretch run, as long as his legs hold up.
Toronto has reportedly already waived Eubanks. But the draft pick certainly sweetens the pot. The pick in the upcoming draft is from the Detroit Pistons. Detroit currently owns the worst record in the NBA. So, their second round pick is darn near a first rounder.
The pick they acquired is 1-14 protected this year. If it does not convey, it is protected 1-13 next year. More than likely, it will not convey either year. In which case, it becomes two second rounds picks in the future. Not all that valuable, hence not receiving an A grade.
SPURS – (B)
Obviously, San Antonio is in the middle of a rebuild. Young was barely playing, so including him in a deal made sense. Dragic is expected to be bought out, so the franchise will save some cap space. But the biggest part of the deal for San Antonio is the draft pick.
The pick they acquired is 1-14 protected this year. If it does not convey, it is protected 1-13 next year. San Antonio would then receive two second round picks the following year. The Raptors currently are the #6 seed in the Eastern Conference.
As hot as the Raptors are, they might get even better after making this deal. So, it appears likely they will make the postseason this season. If that happens, the pick will be transferred to San Antonio this year. The Spurs earn some cap space and a mid-first round pick for a couple of guys they barely played, not a bad haul.