Will Raps regret not trading for Tyrese Maxey?
Coming into the season, the Toronto Raptors were expected to be a tremendous defensive team, but with the lack of shot-creators on the roster, the overall offense was a question mark. Perhaps a young guard like Tyrese Maxey may have helped improve that unit?
These question marks have become apparent as the Raptors’ 105.9 points per game put them in the bottom half of the league. Having the chance to add a young shot-creating guard would have been a no-brainer, right?
Flashback to the 2021 trade deadline, when Kyle Lowry was made available for trade. The Philadelphia 76ers were reportedly a heavily interested team, and with the amount of draft capital and young assets they had, it wouldn’t have been shocking to see a trade completed.
According to names like Michael Scotto and Brian Windhorst, the Raptors would send Lowry back home to Philadelphia if it meant that Maxey would headline the return package. Unfortunately, that deal never came to fruition.
At the end of the day, the Raptors chose to decline all offers for Lowry, bypassing a package that included Maxey. Based on how well Maxey has been playing this season, and what Toronto got from Miami in their eventual Lowry swap, it’s fair to wonder if Toronto should’ve pulled the trigger at the deadline.
Toronto Raptors: Tyrese Maxey could have solved the scoring woes.
Maxey, a 2020 first-round pick, showed flashes of his scoring potential as a rookie, but the guard depth in front of him kept him off the court more than he’d like. With no return in sight for Ben Simmons and with George Hill parting ways with the team, Maxey stepped in as the team’s starting point guard and has shined.
In his sophomore season, Maxey is averaging 17.6 points, while shooting 52% from the field and 41% from 3. Maxey’s potential to be a 3-level scorer is the most intriguing part of his game, and something the Raptors are lacking. Combine his scoring ability with his defense, high energy, and athleticism, he seemed like the perfect player to add to the roster.
The Raptors did get back Precious Achiuwa and Goran Dragic in a sign-and-trade with Kyle Lowry, but it’s been an underwhelming first month for the both of them.
Achiuwa has struggled to finish inside consistently, a trait that has been a thorn in the sides of the Raptors’ offense this season. Dragic was so poor that he was essentially deactivated in favor of Dalano Banton. If the Maxey trade went through, the entire scope of this offense would be drastically different.
We may never know why the Raptors passed on the opportunity to add Maxey to the team. Perhaps they didn’t want to add yet another undersized guard to the team. Maybe trading Lowry to a division rival influenced their decision.
The Raptors front office has been nothing short of amazing, but the decision to pass on Maxey could haunt the franchise for years to come.