A handful of teams have been thrown around in the race to see if anyone can pry DeAndre Jordan away from the Los Angeles Clippers. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, a new team has reportedly hopped into the race as we inch closer and closer to the NBA’s trade deadline.
Stein tweeted that the Toronto Raptors, which sit at 37-16 this year and are one game back of the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, are interested in acquiring the veteran center. There’s just one problem: Toronto might not be able to do a trade between just itself and Los Angeles, so it would have to look for a third team that can make a deal happen.
A deal that has Jordan move north of the border for, say, starting Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas and a draft pick doesn’t quite work financially. Nor does it make much sense, as the Clippers ostensibly want to free up some cap space and Valanciunas is under contract for the next two years, assuming he opts into the final year of his deal in 2019-20.
Toronto does have a handful of interesting young players, though, and team president Masai Ujiri has said in the past he’s willing to move those young players if it helps make the team better. Whether that, in addition to the ability to find a third team, leads to them getting Jordan or not remains to be seen, but it appears the Raptors could be a team to watch as we enter the deadline’s 11th hour.