The NBA trade deadline is only two days away and the Toronto Raptors have expressed a desire to acquire a power forward. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Raptors are specifically targeting three players: Thaddeus Young of the Brooklyn Nets, Kenneth Faried from the Denver Nuggets, and Markieff Morris of the Phoenix Suns. If the Raptors get any of those players, it seems certain that their current power forward Patrick Patterson will be gone from Toronto.
Thad to Toronto?
One of the more talked about trade moves for the Raptors involves Thaddeus Young and the Brooklyn Nets. Young is having a good season in Brooklyn, averaging 15.1 PPG along with 9.1 RPG. The 27-year-old forward tends to play in the paint and crashes the boards often. He previously played with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76'ers, but is currently in one of his greatest statistical seasons. If a deal were to be made between Toronto and Brooklyn, it would likely involve Patrick Patterson, draft picks, and young guard Delon Wright.
Young, along with Brook Lopez, was previously considered untouchable by the Nets organization but with a hopeless season in store, young players and picks might interest the ailing Brooklyn front office. The Nets were heavily interested in Wright at last year's draft but lost out to the Raptors who selected him with the 20th overall pick. Brooklyn also has a severe lack of draft picks due to their ill-fated deal with the Boston Celtics. If Toronto chose to package Wright, a pick, and Patterson, the Nets might bite at the offer. However, the chance of either team striking a deal is low seeing as the Nets have still yet to even hire a GM or coach.
"Manimal" on the Raptors?
Kenneth Faried plays a similar game to Thaddeus Young, both forwards like to lurk in the paint and play with explosiveness. He is averaging 12.5 PPG and 8.9 RPG on the season. The deal to get Faried would be similar to the proposed deal with the Nets: Delon Wright, a pick, and Patrick Patterson. However, one coveted Raptors player is PG Cory Joseph.
The 24-year-old guard signed with the Raptors back in July after spending his first four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. Joseph, who was born in Toronto, was given a warm home welcoming upon his signing. It's unlikely that the Raptors would deal him, but he could certainly persuade the Nuggets and other teams into making the deal. The Raptors, however, have also been in talks with other teams about trades involving Faried. They may look to keep Faried and gauge interest from the rest of the league.
Markieff Stirring Trouble in Canada?
The final player that could potentially be shipped to Toronto is Markieff Morris. Morris has expressed his disdain for the Suns organization and both sides seemingly wouldn't mind a parting of ways. The issue is that it may be tough to ultimately find a home for Morris. Of the three players the Raptors are interested in, he has had the worst season. Morris has averaged only 11.6 PPG and 5.2 RPG this season.
Beyond his numbers, Morris has a negative reputation involving his personality off the court. Some teams may be wary of taking on Morris but it's not completely off the table for many. Regardless, the Suns are still seeking a suitor for Morris and they expect a good deal. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, multiple teams have reported that a first round pick isn't enough to acquire Morris. If the Suns can't find a home for Morris before the deadline, they'll likely look to move him in the offseason.
A Change in Power
The Raptors ultimate goal is to make a push for the finals. One key piece missing from their arsenal may be a solid power forward. It's no coincidence that Young, Faried, and Morris all have similar play styles. Their style is effective at locking down the paint with hard play. Each may excel at something that the other doesn't but all of them are better than Patterson in the eyes of the Raptors organization. If Toronto is desperate enough to contend, it's likely that they'll look to string together a big deal before Thursday.