Interest in Raptors’ Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby Increases as Trade TBEN Approaches

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As the Toronto Raptors prepare for a season-long, seven-game road trip starting Wednesday in Sacramento, the specter of the February 9 NBA trade TBEN looms over the club.

Sitting at a 21-27 record and ranked 11th in the Eastern Conference, rumors are circulating of a possible sell-off of some of Toronto’s key assets such as Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr.

Here’s a look at the latest reports hitting the Raptors hot stove.

Clippers want VanVleet, Lowry

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reports that the Los Angeles Clippers are interested in acquiring a pair of Raptors legends.

O’Connor reported that the Clippers are seeking a trade for former Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry and current point guard VanVleet, reuniting one or both players with Kawhi Leonard and Norman Powell in Los Angeles as the Clippers hope to replicate what Toronto accomplished in 2019.

According to O’Connor, if the Raptors want to make a trade, it’s more likely they’ll get VanVleet and/or Trent Jr. want to move on the TBEN, as they are both essentially in the process of expiring player option deals for the next season.

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VanVleet’s potential fit with the Clippers is obvious. He would give LA an option as a point guard, starter or backup, and the space provided by the likes of Leonard and Paul George would also open up his deadly off-ball game again.

As the NBA trade TBEN approaches, the Raptors’ core pieces are getting more and more interesting in the league. (Getty Images)

Lowry, on the other hand, doesn’t make much sense. Since arriving in Miami from Toronto on a sign-and-trade transaction in the summer of 2021, he’s been struggling to stay sane and his production has plummeted. The 36-year-old averages a modest 12.8 points and 5.4 assists per game while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 34 percent from three-point range — all lower than his career averages.

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Surprising package offered for Anunoby

Anunoby is one of the hottest names in the trading market right now, and the Raptors are reportedly already eyeing at least one significant bid.

Toronto were reportedly offered three first-round picks for their 25-year-old two-way star, Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star reported in his latest column.

Given how valuable Anunoby’s play would be to any team in the league, it’s anyone’s guess who this mysterious squad chasing him could be, but being willing to give up three firsts says something about how the rest of the league sees him.

According to O’Connor, the Raptors would likely be looking for two or three unprotected first-round picks for Anunoby or Siakam, which could likely be the holdup of such a trade.

Those three first-round picks reportedly offered for Anunoby could come with some unappealing protections.

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In these negotiations, the Raptors look like they are the ones with influence. They need to make this advantage count.

Raptors interested in a three-team trade to bring back Poeltl

Jakob Poeltl, the talented former University of Utah center that the Raptors selected ninth overall in the 2016 draft, could return to Toronto.

According to LJ Ellis of Spurs Talk, a blog focused on San Antonio Spurs, the offers the Raptors have made for Poeltl are “increasingly aggressive.”

Of the multiple deals on the table, Ellis reports that the one that has gained the most traction would be a three-team trade where the Raptors’ Trent Jr. would share as part of the transaction. Ellis gave no insight into who the third team might be.

Like Anunoby, Poeltl is one of the most talked about names out there as the trade TBEN approaches. He averages 12.3 points and 9.2 rebounds on 63.3 percent shooting this season and will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

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