RAPTORS BLOG: Could Dallas Mavericks help with Toronto’s lack of depth? – Toronto Sun

Some trade scenarios still make sense

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors forward Justin Champagnie defends.
Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors forward Justin Champagnie defends. USA Today Sports

So, that Luka Doncic is pretty good, huh?

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How many players would you pick ahead of him to start a team right now?

Giannis Antetokounmpo? That’s the toughest call.

Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes or Cade Cunningham? As intriguing as those rookies are, the answer is probably not. Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball? No. Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, Trae Young, Jayson Tatum, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Karl-Anthony Towns? Not me.

I think Luka has to be the answer, even though he will probably never be more than just OK defensively and even though he’s going to have to mature before he’s truly a winning player.

He’s just that good, as the Raptors found out once again on Wednesday night. Even though Toronto has a number of elite-level defenders to throw at Doncic, did he ever look really bothered, or did he mostly just do what he wanted?

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He’s actually been slowed a bit in the past by the likes of OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam, but not this time.

Part of it is likely because those guys were simply really tired, given the unsustainable workload they’ve been given and because Toronto’s played a lot of games lately. At some point something is going to have to give. Nick Nurse is either going to have to play more guys until Gary Trent is ready to go, or the front office is going to have to get him some help.

A game after getting up 18 shots, Barnes was down to 9, his fewest in five games.

Back to Dallas and potential help for a second, don’t regard this as a rumour, but still think a deal with the Mavericks makes some sense for all. Say Dragic and Svi Mykhailiuk for Reggie Bullock and either Dwight Powell or Maxi Kleber. The Raptors would take on some future salary, but could always decline Kleber’s option for next year (though I think he’s a useful player) and Bullock’s final year isn’t fully guaranteed. Maybe Dallas would throw in a second round pick or two for the trouble.

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Of course I wouldn’t expect anything until the Raptors know they can’t do better than something like this at the trade deadline.

FORMER RAPTOR OF THE NIGHT:

DeMar DeRozan

DeRozan’s going to have to do even more with Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball sidelined indefinitely. DeRozan scored 30 and had 7 assists in a win over Cleveland

CANADIAN OF THE NIGHT:

Chris Boucher

Boucher’s been solid for weeks now and that continued against Dallas. He had 15 points and 12 rebounds off the bench in 34 minutes.

With Khem Birch out Boucher is going to likely keep playing big minutes.

THREE STARS

1 Luka Doncic

2 OG Anunoby

3 Chris Boucher

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