toronto raptors trade deadline

Toronto Raptors fail to make any big trade moves and people aren't happy

It was supposed to be the end of an era for the Toronto Raptors, but rumours of a blockbuster roster shakeup fell flat when Thursday's NBA trade deadline cutoff passed without any huge moves at 3 p.m. ET.

A major transaction was expected to follow a smaller move that saw the Raptors trade Canadian centre Khem Birch, a protected 2024 first-round pick and two future second-round picks to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for former Raptors centre Jakob Poeltl.

Poeltl was a key piece in the controversial but ultimately franchise-defining trade that dealt beloved star DeMar DeRozan to the Spurs in a package that brought Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green north of the border, resulting in the Raps' first-ever championship.

He returns to a very different-looking Toronto roster in 2023, one that has failed to live up to expectations in a borderline disastrous campaign. The Raptors are expected to sign Poeltl to a long-term deal this summer, according to ESPN.

But the lack of change amid what has proven to be a sub-par season for the Raptors has fans — who have grown accustomed to Masai Ujiri's strategic mastery of the trade market — more than a little disappointed at the outcome this trade deadline.

Many were expecting to see at least one of the team's core players — OG Anunoby, Fred Vanvleet, or Pascal Siakam — dealt before the deadline, but little materialized.

The single trade leaves the pre-deadline squad almost entirely intact, a perplexing lack of action for a struggling team with a dismal 26-30 record, sitting in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.

NBA insiders like Shams Charania were among the big names expecting Toronto to shake up its roster for the trade deadline, and many are left feeling stunned that a minor tweak was all the team's front office could muster.

Others think it doesn't bode well for the team's future.

If you believe social media chatter, the Raptors are considered one of the biggest flops of the trade deadline.

The Raptors will tip off against the Utah Jazz on Friday with their practically unchanged roster. Here's wishing them luck.

Lead photo by

@raptors


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