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Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to making moves.

Throughout Ujiri's entire tenure with the Toronto Raptors dating back to 2013, he hasn't made a single obviously bad trade. Sure, some of his signings, draft decisions, and roster moves haven't always worked, but when it comes to trades, Toronto rarely loses.

Yet, the Goran Dragic trade is confusing. Toronto reportedly sent Dragic and a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs for Thad Young, Drew Eubanks, and the Detroit Pistons' second-round pick, presumably a very high second-rounder.

It's disappointing in the sense that the Raptors haven't acquired anyone with glaring long-term value to complement the core this season and next. Young, 33, is on an expiring deal and had fallen out of the rotation in San Antonio this season, and Eubanks, 25, has a non-guaranteed deal for next season and doesn't project as a major impact player for Toronto. While Young is certainly considered a good veteran presence and a likable guy who had a solid season last year in Chicago, he's another bench big that adds to a position of surplus for Toronto. 

There are, however, a few reasons to like the deal for the Raptors. For one, the difference between a non-lottery first-round pick and a high second-round pick in this year's draft isn't expected to be very big. It's considered a weak draft outside the very top and slipping down 10 or so spots shouldn't impact the Raptors very much. The trade also drops Toronto nearly $4 million below the luxury tax, giving the Raptors either more room to make another trade or add to the roster through the buyout market or post-deadline free agency. It also creates a $5.3 million trade exception that Toronto can use this summer in a deal.

Takeaways from the deal

  • Toronto gets to take a look at Eubanks and decide if he's worth keeping around for next season at almost no cost. Toronto has waived Eubanks.
  • The Raptors don't seem to think moving down 10 or so spots in the draft this year is particularly important.
  • Toronto wanted some financial flexibility.
  • Young should be able to help off the bench this season at the very least as another big alongside Chris Boucher, Precious Achiuwa, and Khem Birch.
  • Goran Dragic didn't have very much value.

Further Reading

Raptors continue rolling to 7th straight victory with help on the way

Raptors considered Vegas favorites to land Myles Turner from Pacers

5 takeaway from Bobby Webster's pre-trade deadline press conference