The 2020-21 NBA season has seen an underwhelming start from the Toronto Raptors. Despite having a similar team composition from last year, when they were the second seed in the Eastern Conference, Toronto is struggling to get wins. The NBA Trade Deadline of the 72-game campaign is set for March 25th, and we could see various teams trying to rebuild their rosters with the pieces needed to make a postseason push.
The Toronto Raptors might be one of those teams that will look to fight for a postseason spot until its mathematical chances are over. On that note, we list five players Toronto should target before the NBA Trade Deadline.
5 Players the Toronto Raptors should look for before the NBA Trade Deadline
The 2-7 record of the Toronto Raptors is the second-worst in the entire NBA (they are tied with the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards with two wins, but those two have lost eight games apiece).
The start has been horrible for a team that was close to playing in the Eastern Conference finals last year before their Game Seven loss to the Boston Celtics in the second round.
Toronto's woes can be described in many ways, and every area of a 2-7 team can improve. However, their 3-point shooting and rebounding numbers are not a recipe for the NBA Playoffs.
They ranked 18th in 3-point percentage (36%) and 22nd in rebounds per game (43.6). The fact that their two most consistent players from last year's frontcourt –Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol – are gone has played a part in the Toronto Raptors' current woes.
Last year, Toronto ranked fifth in 3-point percentage (37%). Ibaka (39%) and Gasol (39%) played a huge part in that. Now, despite 6-foot-9' Chris Boucher's solid shooting at center, Aron Baynes has been inconsistent for the Raptors, and Alex Len's appearances have been few. Therefore, the Toronto Raptors need to address their presence in the paint.
Given their struggles at 3-point shooting and rebounding, a shooting big man could be an answer for the Toronto Raptors. Despite the noise about a possible Kyle Lowry trade and how the Raptors should consider such a move, they can correct their season if they solve their situation with the bigs.
Let's take a look at five players the Toronto Raptors should target before the NBA Trade Deadline.
No. 5 - Hassan Whiteside
Granted, Hassan Whiteside is not a shooter from distance. Still, the 7-foot big man of the Sacramento Kings is currently averaging only 13 minutes per game, and adding him could be great for the Raptors' rebounding game with another rim protector for the team.
Whiteside has bounced around the league recently (he is playing for his third team in the last three seasons), but just last year, he averaged 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Portland Trail Blazers while leading the NBA in blocks per game.
He could be a good asset in the paint for Toronto, even though he will not shoot the three. Whiteside averages 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game in his career.
No. 4 - Richaun Holmes
Richaun Holmes is an interesting player. He is another big man from the Sacramento Kings who could be a great choice for the Toronto Raptors. Holmes has been in the league since 2015, but he found his place at Sacramento last year.
He averages nine points and five rebounds per game in his career. However, with the Kings, Holmes is averaging 12 points and eight boards in 53 games (49 starts). Though the value of the big man who does not shoot the three is not high, Sacramento could require a good reward for Holmes in a possible trade to the Toronto Raptors.