The Raptors pulled out all the stops ahead of the NBA’s 3pm EST trade deadline on Thursday. They added an elite centre in Marc Gasol, and according to Masai Ujiri they are not done adding pieces for the playoff run.
The team plans to aggressively pursue options who have been, or will be, made available in the buyout market, the Raptors president said during his post-deadline press conference.
Masai thinks Gasol is still a very good player and he should be better without having so much of a load all on his shoulders. Also says Raptors will "attack the buyout market."
— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) February 8, 2019
With the Raps shipping out four regulars – including Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles and Greg Monroe — in the span of a couple hours and Kawhi Leonard sitting out, the team trotted out a lineup against the Hawks on Thursday consisting of only nine active players.
There are several spots to be filled on the team’s roster and the buyout market is where Toronto will try to round out a lineup that is expected to make a serious run for the franchise’s first ever Eastern Conference title.
Several players seem to be drawing extra attention from the Raptors, who have to fill both the centre slot vacated by Monroe and need extra depth on the wings after losing Wright and Miles. Now-former New York Knicks forward Enes Kanter and former Miami Heat guard Wayne Ellington are two names that are on the market and fit the job description.
Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype put together an extensive list of all the potential buyout options (and there are a tonne), which you can check out here.
In order for any of the Raptors’ pursuits to be eligible for the postseason, they must be put on waivers or bought out by March 1. Any player put on the market by then can suit up for Toronto in the playoffs as long as they are signed on or before the last day of the NBA’s regular season.
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