The Toronto Raptors have had a busy offseason. After letting go of their Coach-of-the-Year-candidate bench boss Dwane Casey, they replaced him with Nick Nurse and this week are heading to the NBA draft looking to make moves.
Specifically, on Thursday, at the NBA draft, the Raptors do not have a pick to make and the team is looking to change that with a trade that would pop them into the first round. GM Bobby Webster suggested it wouldn't be simple to do so and wasn't forthcoming on how that prognosis was shaping up but did suggest he is actively trying to get into the mix.
Webster said he understands opposing GM's desire to keep picks knowing that the Raptors have been there before and not moved their own. He knows it's so easy to" fall in love with your picks at this time of year so it's hard to get rid of them." He also added, "we're constantly trying to get in, we're probing and asking the right questions as far as what it would take to get in, and that's just part of our daily due diligence."
Who are the Raptors targeting? A report earlier this week suggested they had interest in Canadian player and Kentucky guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. If true, Gilgeous-Alexander would have no qualms about Toronto trading up to take him. "I heard it. A couple of guys mentioned it to me. That would be cool," he said. "Playing in Toronto would be fun. It's my hometown. But like I said, playing in the NBA, it doesn't matter what team I go to; it will be a blessing."
Because Gilgeous-Alexander is projected to go anywhere between number and 12, as it stands, the Raptors would have to create a little magic to make something happen. Still, they've done their research on players so if a trade becomes available that will find them with a selection to make, the team is ready.
Thursday should be a busy day in the NBA as the draft gets underway. There are rumors all around the league of players moving and trades potentially taking place. The Raptors are just one of many teams to keep an eye on.