Raptors Mailbag: Jakob Poeltl & Bruce Brown's Trade Value, Drafting Zach Edey, & More

The Toronto Raptors have plenty of options this summer with Bruce Brown and Gary Trent Jr. heading into free agency and a couple of draft picks to play with
Feb 4, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Toronto Raptors center Jakob Poeltl (19) and forward Scottie Barnes
Feb 4, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Toronto Raptors center Jakob Poeltl (19) and forward Scottie Barnes / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
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There's not a whole lot going on with the Toronto Raptors these days, but a few questions have trickled in from Instagram.

If you have a question for a future mailbag, shoot me a message @aaronbenrose or respond to one of my weekly mailbag posts.

Without further ado.

What do the Raptors gain by keeping (Bruce) Brown and resigning Gary (Trent Jr.)? - @Del101

The short answer to this is two rotation players.

Toronto could free up just less than $30 million by letting Brown and Trent leave this summer but it's possible the two guards combined to make more than $30 million in salary next season. In which case, the Raptors would be giving up more than $30 million in value to create less than $30 million in salary cap space.

As for the two specifically, Trent had a relatively down year but he's still a really great three-point shooter who has chemistry with Scottie Barnes. He doesn't offer much else, but considering how valuable three-point shooting is, he's still a useful player, ideally off the bench.

Brown is a little less helpful for the Raptors considering where the organization is right now, but if Toronto wants to compete next year, he can help. He's a good player, but the Raptors would probably be better off trading him this summer.

Are the Raptors doomed? - @jimmy_yourmortgagemap


It's been a rough couple of years for the Raptors, but things appear to be heading in the right direction. Had Toronto entered this summer with Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby heading into free agency and expected to depart the organization, this situation would have been a lot worse.

It certainly took too long for the Raptors to reach this point, but now the organization has a clear direction. Toronto is trying to rebuild around Scottie Barnes.

Will it work?

Nobody knows for sure. But they're not doomed — at least not right now.

Do you think Zach Edey will be available at 19 or 31? - @now_owen._

I'm not enough of a draft expert to try to predict these things.

It does seem like Edey has been moving up the mock drafts that I've seen and his draft combine day was certainly impressive.

I'm still skeptical of his defense and in a league that has become so much about quickness and versatility, Edey is a bit more of an old-school center. That's not to say he can't play, but Toronto already has Jakob Poeltl and Edey is a strange fit for the Raptors considering the team's roster construction.

My guess at this point is he's off the board before 31.

In a fantasy situation, if the Raptors draft Bronny with the 31st pick would LeBron James join Toronto? - @myboyjeeno

In a fantasy situation, sure!

In reality, nope. James has distanced himself from the notion that he has to play with his son at some point and there's not really a path for Toronto to make it happen. The Raptors don't have the cap space to sign James.

It's a fun thing to think about, but it's not going to happen.

What is the trade value on Jakob Poeltl/Bruce Brown at the moment? - @brodybmnt

I wrote about the possibility of a Brown trade the other day and it seems pretty difficult.

Brown signed a massive contract last summer with an Indiana Pacers team that had cap space and was hoping to gain flexibility by having a large number on its salary cap sheet. It was a move that worked perfectly for Indiana who used Brown's $22 million contract as matching salary in the Siakam deal.

Toronto would have moved Brown at the trade deadline for a first-round pick, but there wasn't one available. I don't really see why that would change at the draft. Maybe the Raptors can move up a few spots, add a second-round pick, or some intriguing prospect for Brown, but I wouldn't expect a ton.

As for Poeltl, I don't think Toronto trades him this summer.

It probably wouldn't be a terrible idea, especially if the organization wants to take a step back. I just think there aren't going to be a ton of teams looking for centers like Poeltl who can't space the floor and don't offer much defensive versatility. Jonas Valanciunas would be a cheaper option for anyone looking to sign a big man like Poeltl and it's widely believed Jarrett Allen will be traded this summer.

Could Toronto get a first-round pick for Poeltl? I'd assume so. But it won't be as good as the one they gave up.

Aaron Rose


Aaron Rose is a Toronto-based reporter covering the Toronto Raptors since 2020.