The Toronto Raptors are in a bit of a precarious spot in the Eastern Conference right now. The team has some intriguing talent across the board. However, compared to some of their peers in the East, they stand no chance. A near-sweep from the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round cemented this idea.

The burning question now is: how do you go about improving the team in the offseason? They can make improvements to the team through free agent signings and trades. Unless the Raptors want to overpay to acquire top-tier talent, they most likely are going to pull off a couple to trades to do that.

The question is: Which players should the Raptors choose to let go if they do make a trade? Many trade rumors have surrounded this team this early into the offseason. Are they the right options to trade? Let’s look at which players the Raptors must trade coming into the 2022 NBA off-season.

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2 players Raptors must trade in 2022 NBA offseason

Khem Birch

The Raptors have built one of the most interesting rosters in the NBA today. Masai Ujiri basically took the idea of a fully-switchable defensive lineup and ran a mile with it. There were times when Nick Nurse would trot out lineups that had four 6’9 forwards and a big guard. It’s fair to say that the “long boi” experiment worked out well for this team.

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However, some of the pieces they added into that experiment hasn’t fit well with the team at all. Khem Birch was brought in from Orlando as a switchable undersized center who could complement the rest of the Raptors roster. However, as the season progressed, he was slowly but surely outshined by Precious Achiuwa.

There was hope that Birch could help deal with their issues against dominant big men. However, the Sixers series all but proved that Achiuwa could handle his own against the bigger, more impressive centers in the league. Expect any major improving move for the Raptors to include the Canadian as trade filler.

OG Anunoby

Okay, before any Raptors fans come for my head, hear me out. OG Anunoby has been incredible for the team in the last few seasons. His development from a strictly defensive-minded player to a second option on offense is insane. Losing the OG in any trade is going to sting bad for every Toronto fan in the world.

However, let’s look at the facts of the matter here: out of the current Raptors core, OG Anunoby has the most trade value. Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes are sure-fire locks for the core, and so is Fred VanVleet. The other pieces on the team don’t have much upside to them. Anunoby, on the other hand, has long been teased as “Kawhi-lite” by Toronto fans. Considering that he’s still entering his prime, it’s fair to assume that Anunoby could take a major leap in offense and be an elite two-way player.

If the Raptors want to make drastic changes to their roster, they’ll inevitably have to let go of OG Anunoby in a trade (perhaps with the Phoenix Suns as part of a DeAndre Ayton sign-and-trade?). His defensive presence would be a boon to any championship contender looking to beef up their wing rotation. Plus, his improvements on the offensive end make him a non-liability on that side of the court.