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Andre Iguodala and the Top 10 Targets for the Toronto Raptors

Brad LeClairCorrespondent IJune 26, 2016

Andre Iguodala and the Top 10 Targets for the Toronto Raptors

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    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    The Toronto Raptors, unlike many other teams in the NBA, have set themselves up very nicely financially for what is set to be a very uncertain future with regards to the future of the NBA and with regard to their collective bargaining agreement.

    Will there be a hard cap? A maximum on player contracts? A maximum on the amount of maximum contracts you can have on a team? Will there be a lockout next year?

    Those questions among many remain unanswered so far, but at least the Toronto Raptors have set themselves up nicely going forward.

    With key pieces such as DeMar DeRozan, Andrea Bargnani, Jerryd Bayless, Jose Calderon, Linus Kleiza and Ed Davis signed long-term, and possessing multiple trading chips, the Raptors stand on good ground to improve themselves greatly either at the trade deadline or in the offseason.

    The expiring contracts of Peja Stojakovic, Reggie Evans, Sonny Weems and Julian Wright give the Raptors about $23 million in expiring contracts heading into the offseason. Couple that with multiple first-round picks—their own first rounder, along with Miami's first-round choice via the Chris Bosh deal—the Raptors and Bryan Colangelo will be making an impact on the NBA sooner rather than later. Also, let's not forget a $12.2 million trade exemption the Raptors could use, too, before it expires on the anniversary of the Chris Bosh trade.

    Here is a list of the top 10 players that could fit into what the Raptors need or would want. Thanks to RealGM.com's trade checker for verifying all deals.

10. Elton Brand, Philadelphia 76ers, PF/C

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    Chris Chambers/Getty Images

    Elton Brand's career began with a bang with the Chicago Bulls, averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds as a rookie on a very poor Bulls team.

    Since then, he was shipped to the Los Angeles Clippers in 2001-02 in exchange for the rights to Tyson Chandler and center Brian Skinner. Once arriving in Los Angeles, he became the first Clipper since Danny Manning to be selected to the All-Star game in 2002.

    He remained extremely efficient and effective until the 2007-08 season where he missed the majority of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

    Since his return, he has not been the same player he once was.

    This season, however, Brand is seeing a spike in production and appears to be returning to his former self. He's not the same, but he's getting there.

     

    Why Should the Raptors Have Interest in Him?

    He would be one of Toronto's only post scorers, but his game and experience could be beneficial to the development of rookie Ed Davis, whom Davis should model his game after.

     

    What Would It Take To Get Him?

    To get Brand, the Sixers are seeking salary relief. Brand is more than likely going to be a throw-in or what I call an add-on in any deal with the Sixers involving them dealing away Andre Iguodala (see later).

9. Martell Webster, Minnesota Timberwolves, SG/SF

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    Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

    Webster so far has not played a single game in Minnesota this year after being acquired by the Timberwolves this offseason. He has missed the entire year so far after back surgery in the preseason.

    Webster coming into the draft was considered the best pure shooter in that draft class, but he struggled to earn consistent playing time in Portland while he was there, mostly because the likes of Nicolas Batum and All-Star guard Brandon Roy were taking his minutes.

     

    Why Should the Raptors Have Interest in Him?

    At 6'7" and 230 pounds, Webster has the size to fill a huge void at small forward for the club. His modest salary, while being signed for two more years, is what could be valuable for the Raptors. He would expire the same year as DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon, allowing the Raptors more flexibility that offseason.

     

    What Could It Take To Get Him?

    In Minnesota he will be losing playing time at small forward to Michael Beasley and Corey Brewer, among others, and at shooting guard to Wayne Ellington and rookie Wesley Johnson, whom the team drafted this year.

    I expect an expiring contract such as Reggie Evans would be enough to get him over here, while the Raptors may have to add the MIA pick for good measure.

8. Emeka Okafor, New Orleans Hornets, C

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Okafor is one of the better rebounding, shot-blocking and defending centers in the NBA, and his addition to the Raptors could not only help Andrea Bargnani, but the whole team defence as a whole.

    Okafor, who ranks 11th in the NBA with 1.87 blocks per game and 13th with 9.6 rebounds per game, has been playing decently this year, but nothing out of this world. Known to totally disappear on offense, Okafor has a decent post game, but it's nothing special.

     

    Why Should the Raptors Have Interest in Him?

    Can you honestly remember the last time the Raptors had a true starting center? I think it was Hakeem Olajuwon, to tell you the truth.

     

    What Could It Take To Get Him?

    The Hornets, although doing fairly well, appear to be falling a little, as they are down to seventh in the West after a torrid start to the season, sitting at a record of 14-9. Okafor, who is signed for another three more years, may prove to be the rock holding down the Hornets for future moves, so getting rid of that contract could be of some use to the team.

    More than likely they will want salary relief, and I suspect Evans, Wright, Weems and MIA first would be enough; however, a third team may have to get involved if the Hornets and Raptors hook up again for a trade.

7. Boris Diaw, Charlotte Bobcats, SF/PF

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    The Raptors and Bobcats originally hooked up for a deal involving Tyson Chandler and Boris Diaw in exchange for Reggie Evans and point guard Jose Calderon. Michael Jordan, after much media displeasure, took it to heart and decided to nix the deal with the Raptors.

    Diaw, who came into camp horribly out of shape, has had a terrible start to the year, much like the whole Bobcats squad has, and the Bobcats may be regretting not making that trade today.

    Evans, who leads the Raptors in rebounding and is their heart and soul, along with Calderon, would who instantly be a starting point guard on that team, probably would give them more wins than what Boris Diaw could do. Add to that they dealt Chandler for Erick Dampier's non-guaranteed deal, and now the Bobcats are stuck with Diaw's contract and no instant point guard help for the time being.

     

    Why Should the Raptors Have Interest in Him?

    They play a system more conducive to Diaw succeeding, as he is a brilliant passer and as evident in Phoenix, can play fast-break basketball. The Raptors, who could use an extra small forward or power forward, may opt for Diaw after all, as GM Bryan Colangelo is very familiar with Diaw from his Suns days.

     

    What Would It Take To Get Him?

    I suspect Diaw will come fairly cheap, maybe Reggie Evans and the MIA pick, or Evans and Julian Wright. Some combination where the Bobcats get salary relief for the offseason in hopes that they can sign a starting point guard. Will Toronto deal with the Bobcats again is probably the biggest question mark regarding a deal. However, the Raptors would listen if they offer up Gerald Wallace for Peja Stojakovic's expiring contract—dreamers can dream, can't they?

6. Tayshaun Prince, Detroit Pistons, SF

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    The Pistons are playing some rather brutal basketball this season, and the team is at odds with current head coach John Kuester, who somehow has gone this long without getting fired. They recently gave up a 25-point third quarter lead to our Toronto Raptors, in a game they looked to be in full control of.

    One player who seems to be his way out could be Tayshaun Prince, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

    The eight-year vet out of Compton looks to be really not enjoying his time in Detroit and could be in line for a change of scenery.

    One thing you can say about Prince is that the guy is consistent. In the last six years of playing ball, he's averaged around 11-12 shots per game, 13-14 points per game, while shooting between 44-48 percent from the field over that time.

     

    Why Should the Raptors Have Interest in Him?

    He is pretty consistent at the small forward spot, something Toronto really lacks on the wing, plus his wingspan and reach makes him one of the better defenders at his position, despite his rail-thin body.

     

    What Would It Take to Get Him?

    I suspect he would not come cheaply, as the Pistons may be willing to trade him; however, the team wanting his services may have to be on the hook for one or two more bad contracts in exchange for salary relief. Players such as Rip Hamilton, Charlie Villanueva or Jason Maxiell may have to be included in such deals.

    Toronto could offer up a package that includes the likes of DeMar DeRozan, Peja Stojakovic, Reggie Evans and a pick to get both Hamilton and Prince, but in reality, the Raptors are building for the future, not the present, so a deal like that makes no long-term sense for the franchise.

5. Eddy Curry, New York Knicks, C

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    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    Yeah, he's even laughing at the thought of the Raptors acquiring him, but in reality, it could be possible.

    Curry's large expiring contract I truly believe could be the major point in doing the deal. With a good handful of free agents who could tickle Toronto's fancy (such as Caron Butler, Tayshaun Prince and Samuel Dalembert), the Raptors could use the extra cap space to add to an already up-and-coming roster.

     

    Why Should the Raptors Have Interest in Him?

    In today's NBA, with the economic uncertainty, it could really be beneficial to the Raptors to get as much cap space as needed in hopes they can turn things around. Getting Curry would help, but sadly, the Raptors and MLSE would have to make sure all burger joints in and around the ACC remain full stocked in Curry's favorite greasy treat.

     

    What Would It Take to Get Him?

    With the Knicks currently using a very thin bench, they could really use some quality depth players going forward, possible even a point guard or shooting guard to help spell Raymond Felton, who seems to be playing whole games nowadays.

    A package that includes center Eddy Curry for point guard/shooting guard Leandro Barbosa, and maybe power forward Reggie Evans, could be enough to get the Knicks over the hump and into potential Eastern Conference champion material—that's a big if, however. 

4. Samuel Dalembert, Sacramento Kings, C

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    Dalembert, a Haitian with Canadian citizenship, if acquired by the Toronto Raptors would probably drive Leo Rautins nuts, having to broadcast games and dissect his shortcomings. We would never hear the end of it, but I digress.

    Sammy D's contract expires at the end of the season, and with that I feel the Kings could be a good trading partner. Since his contract is expiring, expect the Kings to want to throw on a bad contract such as Beno Udrih or Francisco Garcia in exchange for some cap relief so that they can take a run at some free agents and hopefully find a point guard that can play with Tyreke Evans.

     

    Why Should the Raptors Have Interest in Him?

    Again, the need for a rebounding and shot-blocking center is still greatly needed. Bargnani is better off as a power forward, but time will tell the story with that one. If anything, he could become the center off the bench we sorely are missing, as well.

     

    What Would It Take To Get Him?

    I would hazard to believe that with the development of DeMarcus Cousins, and the eventual development of Hassan Whiteside, the Kings could use the roster space elsewhere. The club has also been noted to be looking to trade power forward/center Jason Thompson, another name that could fit into what the Raptors are all about.

    I hazard to believe a lot of Toronto's expiring contracts could be involved; however, a straight Dalembert for the MIA first and the rest of the trade exemption could be another avenue the Raptors could pursue.

3. Andris Biedrins, Golden State Warriors, C

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    A more long-term option than Dalembert, we come to center Andris Biedrins of the Golden State Warriors. Taken in the same draft as Raptor draft pick center Rafael Araujo in 2004, Biedrins has been a model of effective rebounding and field goal percentage his entire time in Golden State.

    A big question mark with Biedrins is his terrible free throw shooting, to go along with a nagging ability to go nearly invisible for large portions of games.

     

    Why Should the Raptors Have Interest in Him?

    Biedrins is another one of those big bodies the Raptors lack at the 5 spot. After Andrea Bargnani, everyone is undersized to play the 5 position. It may be by design that the Raptors have not tried to get bigger there, as the development of Solomon Alabi seems to be a slow development, if anything.

    Biedrins, a career 60 percent field-goal shooter along with averaging nearly 10 rebounds a game this year, could really elevate the Raptors' play up front. Biedrins is still a pretty bad defender, so he'd fit right in with what the Raptors represent.

     

    What Would It Take To Get Him?

    Really unsure what the Warriors would want, but due to his pretty lackluster play, and lack of an offensive game outside of 10 feet, the Warriors may opt for a more unconventional center option, like what Mehmet Okur or Andrea Bargnani bring—some size and length, but more of an outside shooting came to help compliment All-Stars David Lee, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. I'm not going to throw names out there, because to be quite honest, I have no clue what the Warriors would want.

2. Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers, SG/SF

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    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Iguodala, who looks to be getting squeezed out of a 76er organization that is putting greater emphasis on younger, more controllable contracts, appears to be on his way out of town.

    One of the most athletic and better defenders at his position, Iggy is an all-around NBA talent who fills up the stat sheet. Currently averaging nearly 15 points per game to go along with six rebounds and six assists a game, as well as nearly two steals a game, Iguodala, outside of maybe Carmelo Anthony, will be the most sought-after trade chip on the market.

     

    Why Should the Raptors Have Interest in Him?

    Getting Iguodala would easily vault the Raptors into playoff contention, as well as give them a consistent wing presence they have lacked since the days of Vince Carter. The one downside to this move is that it would probably come with adding the contract of Elton Brand, who prefers a more stand-still, half-court offense as opposed to a more fast-paced fast break offense that Iguodala and the Raptors prefer. That's the only reason why he's not ranked at the top. The first guy comes with less on-board baggage than Iguodala does.

     

    What Would it Take to Get Him?

    Talks will obviously start with the expiring contracts of both Peja Stojakovic and Reggie Evans; add in Julian Wright, DeMar DeRozan and Toronto's draft pick, and I think a deal could get done between the two sides.

    But, many GMs believe it's a bad thing to trade within your division if star players are involved, so it's more likely to be wishful thinking, than a certainty if the two teams hook up for a trade. Raptors fans remember when Vince Carter was dealt to the Nets, who eventually came back to bite the Raptors in the playoffs of 2006-07, where the Raptors—the Atlantic Division champs—were downed by New Jersey's big three of Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson and the one-and-only Vince Carter.

1. Antawn Jamison, Cleveland Cavaliers, SF/PF

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    The Cavs are really starting to show their absolutely terrible offensive execution after the loss of team leader LeBron James.

    Antawn Jamison, who is averaging a career-low 13 points per game, seems to really not be hitting his stride this year with the Cavs. There have been multiple reports that the Cavs could look to trade his large contract for more long-term options, whether that's salary relief or two-three younger, more controllable contracts.

    Jamison, who turns 35 next June, could be on the downside of his career, and he may just be beginning to show some decline in his game.

     

    Why Should the Raptors Have Interest in Him?

    Jamison fits the bill for what the Raptors could use. The best thing about it is if he does not fit in, his contract will be expiring next year, so the Raptors would have yet another good trading chip, much like what Jermaine O'Neal was for them two years ago.

    He brings a unique inside-outside game to the table, and can still rebound pretty well for his size. He's one of those star players who can play well as a second or even third option on a team.

     

    What Would It Take To Get Him?

    The Cavs were supposedly having discussions about an Andre Iguodala for Antawn Jamison swap, but talks broke down after the Sixers wanted to include Elton Brand. I suspect, however, that Jamison could be had for the expiring contract of Peja Stojakovic, or even for the remainder of the trade exemption along with Julian Wright or Linus Kleiza.

    Would a package of Peja Stojakovic, Jose Calderon and Julian Wright for Jamison and Mo Williams be enough to get it done? It really depends on who you ask.

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