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NBA Trade Rumors 2018: Toronto Raptors Showing Interest in DeAndre Jordan

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Another suitor emerges for Jordan.

Toronto Raptors v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors are attempting to get involved in the DeAndre Jordan market just hours ahead of Thursday’s NBA Trade Deadline, according to the New York Times’ Marc Stein.

Jordan has drawn interest from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers, and Washington Wizards. The Clippers are shopping the All-NBA center, as a long-term, big-money extension for the career Clipper does not fit the future plans of their new front office.

The Clippers’ reluctance to take back long-term contracts, in accordance with their desire to not give Jordan long-term money, means that the Raptors would have to dump a contract on a third team to make salaries work. The Indiana Pacers have been mentioned as a team that is willing to take on long-term salary if compensated with a first-round pick. The Raptors’ first-round pick in 2018 belongs to the Brooklyn Nets, and their second round pick belongs to the Phoenix Suns.

Any potential Jordan package from the Raptors would likely be centered around current Raptors center Jonas Valenciunas, who would lose his starting job to Jordan and is due $16.5 million next season and has a player option for $17.6 million in 2019-20. That is definitely a contract that the Clippers would not be interested in.

Valenciunas makes $15.46 million this season, and for salaries to match in any Jordan trade, the Raptors would need to send out at least just over $18 million. Lucas Nogueira or Jakob Poeltl would be enough for salaries, but with Valenciunas going to a third team, it’s unclear how much the Clippers would want in return. The Raptors have a handful of intriguing prospects on cheaper deals down their roster, so any combination of players that the Clippers are high on could potentially get a deal done. In that case, the Raptors would likely be trading their 2020 1st round pick to a third team to take Valenciunas, as well as sending two of their prospects to the Clippers—a huge ransom for an expiring Jordan, and one that Raptors GM Masai Ujiri seems unlikely to pay.