Why Toronto Raptors should and shouldn’t trade Scottie Barnes for Damian Lillard

Scottie Barnes (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Scottie Barnes (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) /

Why the Toronto Raptors should trade Scottie Barnes for Damian Lillard

Scottie Barnes may never develop into a star player 

There’s a very real possibility that after an underwhelming sophomore season, the Toronto Raptors have admitted behind closed doors that perhaps Scottie Barnes isn’t the budding superstar that they believed he would be after his rookie campaign.

Barnes may never be as good as a player as Lillard is right now and they may be willing to swap 5-10 years of whatever player Barnes can be for the superstar elite talent that Lillard will likely be for the next 2-3 seasons.

The Toronto Raptors are built to win now 

Even though the Raptors have some talented young players and a flurry of future picks, the Raptors are also built to win now with the likes of Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr., and Jakob Poeltl. Even though it would be more complicated than just sliding Damian Lillard with this group, a duo of Lillard and Siakam would fit great together.

And at that point, with two stars, you then trust Masai Ujiri to figure out the supporting cast around them.

The Toronto Raptors don’t want to rebuild 

Is there a chance that the Raptors have completely pivoted on the idea of entering a rebuild? It wouldn’t be that surprising. After losing Fred VanVleet in free agency, it was somewhat odd that Toronto didn’t follow that move up by trading OG Anunoby and/or Pascal Siakam to fully embrace their youth movement.

Perhaps they don’t want to do that anymore. And if that’s the case, trading Barnes for a player that could potentially be viewed as somewhat of a missing piece would make sense.