NBA Rumors: Raptors Linked To Wizards' Big Man

The Toronto Raptors find themselves in an interesting position ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline on February 10th.  The Raptors are currently 9th in the Eastern Conference and are 3.5 games behind the 7th-place Charlotte Hornets and only 7 games back from the 1st-place Miami Heat.  For comparison, the Western Conference's 9th-place team, the L.A. Lakers, are 14.5 games behind the 1st-place Phoenix Suns.  

In fewer words, the Raptors could feel like they are in a position to make a deep playoff run despite their current standing, and could be looking to add some key players ahead of the deadline.

The Raptors are undoubtedly a young, talented team, but they just haven't found the right fit or rotation of players yet this season.  While the team may possess a fair amount of individual talent, they haven't learned to play together, evidenced by their 21.9 assists per game - which ranks above only the New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder.  Also, the Raptors have been dead last in bench scoring and 3-point shooting percentage, and some of their best players (rookie Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam, for instance) have a lot of overlapping skills.

One player who could hypothetically improve the Raptors' bench scoring is Washington Wizards big man Davis Bertans.  Bertans has lost his shooting touch this season (35.1 FG%), but perhaps a change of scenery could get the 6'10" Latvian back on track.  During the 2019-2020 season, Bertans was 8th in the league with 200 made 3-pointers while converting 42.4% of those shots, and is a career 40.1% 3-point shooter.  The Athletic suggests that maybe Goran Dragic could be part of a deal between the two Eastern Conference teams, and that move could make sense for the Raptors.  While Bertans' shooting hasn't been very good this season, if he can return to his old form the Raptors could make out like bandits on trade deadline day.  However, if Bertans shooting woes continue, the 3 years and $49 million left on the former second-round pick's contract could seriously halter the Raptors rebuild.

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