3. Raptors struggling, but not bottoming out
The Spurs own Toronto’s first-round pick in 2024 from the Jakob Poeltl trade, but it is top-six protected. The Raptors selected Gradey Dick 13th overall in 2023 and just lost Fred VanVleet in free agency. Toronto is at a crossroads, and their decisions directly impact the Spurs.
The Raptors have missed the playoffs in two of the last three years, and Pascal Siakam is entering the final year of his contract. OG Anunoby has one year plus a player option remaining in his. Is Toronto a contender? If not, do they move on from Siakam and Anunoby and rebuild around Scottie Barnes? Those are questions Masai Uriji and the Raptors must answer before the trade deadline.
The Spurs would love to have a second top-ten selection in 2024. Siakam has already stated his desire to stay in Toronto, and the Raptors could keep him even if they are struggling. Missing the playoffs, but finishing with the tenth-worst record is probably the best San Antonio can realistically hope for.
The Spurs should not be rooting for a fire sale in Toronto. They want the Raptors to miss the playoffs, but keep enough talent that their lottery selection heads to the Alamo. It is a small needle to thread, but a realistic one that could be a massive boost to the San Antonio Spurs.