Lets call it a gut feeling but I think the Raptors are going to do something a bit crazy but for good reason. I think they are gonna make a hard push for Canadian born players. Here is how:
First, I think once they see that Rudy Gay isn't good enough to push them into the playoffs, they will make a call to the Cavs about Thompson. He is a Canadian player that looks like he could become a great starter at the PF spot and the Raptors need help there. I would assume they would push for Bennett to be thrown in the mix but Id say if Thompson is gone, that makes Bennett untouchable. This trade would help ensure that the Raptors get out of the playoffs and into the lottery again. Their next move would be to see who lands the number 1 pick for next seasons draft. Best guesses would be the 76ers, Magic, Bucks, Bobcats (simply because they are always there), or on a long shot, the Suns. They would then need to throw everything at these teams in hopes of getting Andrew Wiggins. The Raptors would have their own pick, quiet possibly top 5, to send someone's way along with anyone on the team not named Thompson or Valaciunas. IMO, it would take a whole lot to get this pick from someone. The Raps would need to be wiling to give up Ross, Derozen, top 2 picks for 2014, future first round pick, and maybe even Lowry. They would also have to take on some bad contracts in return.
So if everything goes correctly, the Raptors could be looking at a new era of Canadian basketball. Could see a line-up starring 2 young Canadian players and 1 that looks to be the next great basketball player in the world. A potential lineup for the start of the 14-15 season could resemble this:
The 2015 season they could draft Kevin Pangos too and have a third Canadian born player on the roster.
Sure, these moves seem a bit wild because I am basing a lot of it on nationality but at the same time, both moves would make sense for the organization because in Thompson, you get a starting caliber PF to fit with JV and I'm sure the Cavs would welcome Gay if Bynum is healthy and they need help to challenge the top of the East. Also, the move for Wiggins would be drastic but to get a guy that is touted as a "generational talent" and have him from your country would be amazing. Also, the team giving up Wiggins would be moving down slightly in a very impressive draft while adding Ross and Derozen, 2 guys with allstar ability. Not a bad place to be.
Just look out for this to happen. Could be very exciting for Canadian basketball..
Don't know if everyone had see the vids but Wiggins as said that he wants to play for the Raptors. It's out there. Look it up.
I don't know if anyone would be game to trade the top pick. Its the opposite of this past years draft where no one wanted to be number one. I highly doubt any of the top 5 picks will be dealt.
I like the theory though. Toronto aren't going to attract high level FA's, and they struggle to keep American players once they hit free agency. Why not draft guys that are comfortable in the country and are willing to stay there long term?
Beats dealing with investing development in guys like Bosh, Carter, McGrady and seeing them run when they get the first chance
This is the most hyped draft class and the most hyped individual since LeBron James and the 2003 class, there's no way anyone is going to trade the #1 pick. Even if the Raptors offered DeRozan, Ross, Val etc., why would a team take that? Wiggins WILL go to whoever lands the #1 pick.
Second, zero chance the Cavs would trade Tristan Thompson for Rudy Gay. Tristan is considered a cornerstone piece of what the Cavs are trying to build and will be under contract ATLEAST the next two years. Rudy Gay could only playout this season and decline his option at the end of the season (which I don't see him doing, but still) and the Cavs would have rented him for one year. The Cavs do need a SF long term, and drafting Bennett does make Tristan a little more expendable. However, if they're going to spend 17-19 million PER YEAR on a SF why not retain Tristan and make a run at LeBron in the offseason?
Raptors are good enough to make the Playoffs this year,(bottom seed) and no team that stink in 2013-2014 is trading there first round pick for anyone on the Raptors..face it, Wiggins is not playing for the Raptors his rookie year.
Raptors should focus on building a winning ball club.
Canadian players may want to play for the Raptors in theory, but every party is going to do what's best for them at the time (ex. Steve Nash).
Sentimentality does not win championships.
No way has this plan ever crossed Ujiri's mind.
I don't think the raptors will be as bad as you are assuming... In my opinion the race for the last playoff spots in the East is gonna be fun to watch next year between Toronto, Cleveland, Washington, and Detroit.