The Raptors' Opportunity to Go All-In is Now

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Article Written by Rodrigo Albizurez (@rodzyalbizurez)


A great man once said “you have to risk it to get the biscuit,” and the Raptors are prime contenders to free fall into the Anthony Davis sweepstakes. Before I continue, a great man didn’t once say you need to risk it to get the biscuit. I got that from the movie, Fired Up. Please don’t ask me why I watched it, it just kind of happened. Now back to the topic at hand, Anthony " The Brow" Davis.

When you think about NBA superstars, you think about LeBron James. Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and of course, Anthony Davis. Davis is a top-tier talent and the fact that people are reluctant to let go of their young talent for Davis is outrageous. I'm talking to you Raptor fans. I was one of those fans going into the season, but I've woken up and seen the light. It's time to go all in!

Yes, the Raptors have some youth that will be promising in the future, but from management’s perspective, it's their opportunity to turn their coveted 25$ chips into 1000$ chips. You would need to trade away some role players to get away with this trade, which would include Delon Wright, OG Anunoby, Jonas Valanciunas, and their most coveted 100$ chip, Pascal Siakam. By giving up those assets, your bench would be depleted down to Norman Powell, Fred Vanvleet, CJ Miles, Greg " don't play him" Monroe, and Patrick Mccaw.  I mean, it could be a lot worse, considering you would still be keeping Powell who has proven that he can be a scoring threat in this league off the bench this year. The other guys are up in the air, but if you're the Raptors coaching staff, you're going all in with your starting lineup and maximizing their usage.

The starting lineup should be Lowry, Green, Miles, Leonard, & Davis. By moving CJ into the starting lineup and Serge to the bench, that would space the floor better for Davis and Leonard to attack defenders and find shooters in their spots. Davis provides another scoring threat that can be utilized in so many ways. He’s able to create his own shot, expose teams in a pick n roll, and he’s also able to hit the jimmy from beyond the arc. He’s shooting 31% career wise from beyond the arc which isn’t spectacular but it’s not terrible either. The point of landing Davis isn’t to utilize his 3-point skills, but to add another threat that can free up shooters and expose opposing teams bigs. He also brings in his rebounding prowess which could really help this Raptors squad.

Now with Serge moving to the bench, that adds another offensive threat to there, which depends on Fred running the sets properly. Serge needs to get the ball in his spots and that’s up to Fred to get him those looks. Overall, that starting lineup is - as the kids say - "lit," and it would challenge the Warriors in the Finals. If you look at the Warriors, their bench isn't that deep anyways, and they rely on their starting unit.

At the end of the day, there are other teams that can bid in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes, like the Lakers and the Clippers. But the most important fact is that the Celtics can't. Due to a certain rule (Rose Rule), they cannot trade for Davis unless they are willing to part with Kyrie Irving. They must wait until Kyrie’s contract is over, which is this summer, until they can try to trade for Davis. Boston would be an ideal location for Davis, but there are rumors swirling around the organization that Kyrie may not resign with them in the offseason, and perhaps take his talents to the Lakers franchise. With that being said, the Lakers could also offer up a fair-trade package for Davis, but they will probably wait until he's a free agent to make a play at him.

At this point Davis is a very valuable chip to whoever can land him. Odds are that whatever team lands him in a trade won't keep him around long term, so they could flip him for future assets. The Raptors’ organization should be willing to take that chance and maximize his talents for this year’s championship run and flip him for future picks or players.  Like I wrote earlier, you need to risk it to get the biscuit and Masai should be putting all the chips into the championship winning pot.

There’s no better time than the present.


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