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Raptors Need to Make a Rudy Gay-Type Trade, Here's How

The Toronto Raptors successfully reshaped their roster in 2013 by trading then-star Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings for multiple pieces. Can they do the same with the current roster a decade later?

Trading away a superstar player is always a risky proposition.

That said, it can sometimes benefit a franchise that needs balance. On December 9th 2013, exactly a decade from today, the Toronto Raptors achieved that goal by dealing away a package featuring star forward Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings.

Four players came back to Toronto in the deal including Greivis Vásquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons, and Chuck Hayes. Patterson and Vásquez ended up being the most impactful pieces, remaining with the Raptors for a handful of years.

Vásquez only stayed for two seasons but was instrumental in his playmaking and scoring efforts off the bench. Patterson became a key cog of the Raptors rotation, providing both great defense and solid three-point shooting until his departure after the 2016-17 season.

Gay left Sacramento after that same season and had continued to be a productive scorer throughout his Kings tenure. Essentially, Toronto was able to change the composition of its roster by acquiring depth, shedding salary, and improving team shooting.

It seemed like a match made in heaven, and it would be in the Raptors’ best interest to try and imitate such an acquisition with Pascal Siakam as the centerpiece.

Several teams around the NBA have been trying to acquire the Cameroon native since last season’s trade deadline. It was around that time when the narrative surrounding the state of the franchise really began to change.

Other teams started to circle with hopes of prying away a prime asset like Siakam or even OG Anunoby. After all, surely the Raptors would be selling.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case at last year’s deadline or even this past summer. A slow start to this season drew worries about Siakam's new perceived trade value but it likely hasn’t fallen much, if at all. One thing remains clear – a lot of teams are willing to pay for a power forward of his caliber.

What kind of return could send the former All-NBA forward packing?

To Toronto Raptors: SG Buddy Hield, PF Obi Toppin, C Isaiah Jackson, PG T.J. McConnell, Pacers’ 2024 1st Round Pick (Top-8 Protected)

To Indiana Pacers: PF Pascal Siakam, PG Malachi Flynn

The Indiana Pacers are a young team that hasn’t made the postseason since 2020. This year seems to be different so far, with the team currently sitting 5th in the Eastern Conference with a 12-8 record and a lot of cap space.

Tyrese Haliburton has taken another large step forward, Myles Turner is up to his usual tricks, and Montreal native Bennedict Mathurin has continued to impress in his sophomore season. Adding a shot creator like Siakam to the starting five could be just what this team needs to reach the next level.

The package coming back to the Raptors would be very appealing too. Buddy Hield provides the kind of outside shooting Toronto’s wing rotation desperately needs. He’s on an expiring contract but could certainly be flipped for a solid return if Toronto can’t extend him.

Obi Toppin may still have some untapped potential, and definitely has a lot of skill around the rim. He could conceivably step right into the power forward hole Siakam would leave behind.

Isaiah Jackson has been stuck behind Myles Turner for much of his career so far, but his athleticism and finishing abilities can’t be ignored. In the midst of his age-22 season, Jackson is still a bit of a project, but the ceiling is there and the Raptors can afford to be patient so long as Jakob Poeltl is around to take the bulk of the minutes.

T.J. McConnell would be more of a salary throw-in than anything, but his basketball IQ and defensive prowess could also prove helpful to a team that could use more of both those things at point guard.

From a lot of angles, this deal makes sense for both sides. It would only shed around $4 million off Toronto’s cap but addresses a lot of roster needs. It would also allow the Pacers a chance to compete with the big dogs of the East.

To Toronto Raptors: SF Andrew Wiggins, PG Chris Paul, PF Jonathan Kuminga, SG Moses Moody, Warriors’ 2026 1st Round Pick (Top-8 Protected), Warriors’ 2028 1st Round Pick (Top-10 Protected)

To Indiana Pacers: PF Pascal Siakam, SF OG Anunoby

Did someone say blockbuster? If this trade were to happen, it would undoubtedly send tremors through the NBA.

That said, the Golden State Warriors have no choice but to go for gold. With Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green all in their 30s, the dynasty window is close to being shut and a win-now trade of this caliber may be the team’s best chance at one more Curry-led championship.

The focal point of the return, aside from the pair of first-round picks, would naturally be Andrew Wiggins. As a Toronto-area native, adding Wiggins means adding a Canadian, Anunoby-type player under contract for two seasons beyond this one – with a player option in 2026-27.

Now in his age-38 season, Chris Paul is finally starting to show signs of slowing down. As one of the best point guards of this era, his impact would still be felt by the Raptors in more ways than one. If nothing else, he’s on a short contract and could either be flipped or would be a great placeholder until Toronto can find a more permanent long-term solution to run the point.

Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody are young players with a lot of upside and are exactly the kinds of players the Raptors should be acquiring to build around Scottie Barnes. The draft picks are quite far down the line, but that could end up being to Toronto’s benefit if Golden State is rebuilding by then – which is very possible.