It turns out Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri might have a few tricks up his sleeve.
The Raptors are reportedly a team to watch if Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal ever hits the trade market, according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.
“One league source told me the sleeper team to watch in a Beal bidding war is the Raptors. This source said Toronto president Masai Ujiri was reluctant to deal Lowry because he believes the team can contend again as soon as next season. At that point, the Raptors will likely be back in a normal rhythm and playing in Canada after spending all of this season in Tampa,” O’Connor wrote.
Beal has so far shown no interest in leaving the Wizards any time soon. His agent, Mark Bartelstein, who happens to be Kyle Lowry’s agent as well, told Yahoo’s Ben Rohrbach back in early February that Beal “doesn’t want to quit on something.”
If Beal does eventually become available, the Raptors are one of the few contending teams that still have their full arsenal of draft picks to move in any trade. Any possible deal with the Wizards would ultimately come down to what Washington would be looking for in terms of offer construction. While Toronto does have the draft pick capital to make a move, the Raptors likely couldn’t top other offers if valuable young players were on the team.
With the trade deadline having just passed, any move will have to wait for the summer and until Beal makes it known he wants out of Washington, it remains unlikely a deal will happen. But it’s quite possible Toronto’s future as a contender isn’t quite as far off as it may seem right now.