1. Grade for the Toronto Raptors
This season has been a weird one for the Toronto Raptors. They’ve been stuck in the middle for years. Ever since Kawhi Leonard left after their 2019 title run, they’ve been firmly stuck in the middle.
At their best, the Raptors were a mid-tier playoff team that gave first-round opponents a bit of trouble. At their worst, the Raptors have been a team on the outside looking in of the Play-In Tournament.
At the time of writing this, the Raptors are 10-15 on the season and sit in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. In their last 10 games, they are just 3-7.
Scottie Barnes’ emergence as an All-Star-level talent has opened an obvious pathway forward for the Raptors, but that path should involve moving some exterior pieces.
Toronto could easily keep OG Anunoby, who is still just 26 years old, and build with him and Barnes, but trading him could also reap some rewards.
Buddy Hield is going to be a free agent at the end of the year. While he would help the Raptors’ need for three-point shooting, he likely doesn’t fit into their long-term plans, so unless they make this a three-team deal, he seems like a fairly useless piece for them.
Walker, on the other hand, could be an intriguing addition to their roster, though there are some very clear similarities between his and Barnes’ games.
Overall, this trade feels fairly “meh” for the Raptors despite the fact that they’d be getting two unprotected first-round picks.