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NBA Trade Rumors: Toronto Raptors preparing for major departures before the start of next season

Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors - Game Seven
Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors - Game Seven
Evan Tiwari
ANALYST
Modified 23 Sep 2020, 00:11 IST
Rumors
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After winning the NBA championship last year, the Toronto Raptors crashed out of the playoffs this season with a loss to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Despite losing Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in the offseason, the Raptors managed to hold their own this season. According to multiple NBA trade rumors, the Raptors are looking to be active in the free-agent market before the start of the 2020/21 season. 

NBA Trade Rumors: Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri looking to make major moves this offseason

Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors - Game Seven
Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors - Game Seven

According to Blake Murphy of The Athletic, Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri is planning a major revamp of the roster, which could see Spain internationals Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol depart the team this year.

Gasol and Ibaka were part of the team that won the championship last year, sharing minutes at the center position. Ibaka was acquired from Orlando Magic, while Gasol had left the Grizzlies after 11 years. 

NBA Trade rumors suggest that players like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris Boucher will also look to leave for more game-time elsewhere. Raptors have a thin squad, and with multiple departures, the team will have to work hard in the offseason to sign suitable replacements. 

According to reports, the core of the team - Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Kyle Lowry, and Fred VanVleet, will be staying together for another season. The Lowry-VanVleet backcourt partnership is one of the best in the league, and head coach Nick Nurse would like the pairing to be intact for a few more campaigns. 

Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors - Game Seven
Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors - Game Seven

Also read: LA Lakers News: Colby Covington goes after LeBron James again, Clippers superfan grudgingly wears Purple and Gold jersey

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However, Fred VanVleet has been at the center of NBA trade rumors and might opt for a new destination next season. He is seeking a four-year, $80 million contract, and it will be difficult for the Toronto Raptors to match that kind of offer. The New York Knicks are the favorites to land VanVleet this offseason. 

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse won the NBA Coach of the Year award this season, and he would look to land a superstar. With the Toronto Raptors offloading so many stars, it would be interesting to see how they make use of the resulting cap space.

Also read: NBA News Update: LeBron James will surpass Kobe Bryant only if he wins the title but not Michael Jordan, proclaims Charles Barkley

Published 23 Sep 2020, 00:11 IST
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