Report: Raptors "Fumbled he Bag" In Lillard Trade Talks

We'd been hearing for a week or more that the Toronto Raptors had moved to the front of the class in the Damian Lillard Sweepstakes. So what happened? How did he end up in Milwaukee instead of The Six? 

According to basketball insider Kyle Nuebeck, the Raptors front office really wanted to get it done, but simply dropped the ball. 

“The Raptors, it seems, really fumbled the bag on this one," wrote Nuebeck. "The word in league circles was that Masai Ujiri could have had this deal (to acquire Lillard) done a week ago if the Raptors had been willing to part with OG Anunoby.” 

Toronto sources have confirmed that the Raptors were trying to get a deal done for Dame without including any of their core pieces, namely, Anunoby, Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes. And truly, it makes sense: Getting Lillard would mean the Raptors were "going for it", and it just wouldn't have worked if they'd had to give up one of their other strongest players. 

Instead, according to various sources, Ujiri was offering a package that centered around Gary Trent Jr., first-round pick Gradey Dick, Precious Achiuwa, and draft picks. 

ESPN Insider Brian Windhorst confirmed the same intel, stating,  “I feel pretty strongly that there was some sort of offer from Toronto to Portland for Damian Lillard. I do not feel strongly, however, that OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam or Scottie Barnes were in that offer.”

So the Raptors now are heading into the season with the same core as last year—minus Fred VanVleet. Siakam and Trent are entering the final years of their contracts, and OG will almost certainly opt out of his $19M player option and become a free agent as well. 

Masai, the next move is yours. 

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