DeMarre Carroll will be entering year three of his four-year $60M next year. It’s safe to say he has been a disappointment with the Raptors.
DeMarre Carroll's averages as a member of the Toronto Raptors
Do Other Teams Have Interest in Carroll?
It’s unlikely that there is any team in the league that wants to trade for DeMarre, but that doesn’t mean they won’t. If the Raptors were to throw in a sweetener which could be a pick or young player a team might be willing to eat Carroll’s contract.
List of Potential Sweeteners the Raptors Possess:
Pick 23 (2017 draft)
Lesser of Lakers & Magic 2nd round pick (2018 draft)
It seems unlikely that the Raptors would trade Jakob Poeltl or Delon Wright just to unload DeMarre Carroll’s especially when they both showed a lot of promise this season. Of the sweeteners listed Pascal Siakam is probably the least likely player to be traded. He was terrific in the D-League and could fill a need at PF considering Serge Ibaka and Patrick Patterson are both free agents. Yes, there are rumors that Ibaka is coming back, but nothing is concrete yet. Also, there has been a lot of speculation that Ibaka is a better fit playing center. So, if the Raptors don’t re-sign Patterson there will be an opening for minutes at power forward.
Ideally, it probably makes the most sense for the Raptors to trade that 2018 second round pick to entice a team to take DeMarre Carroll’s contract. Being the lesser of the Magic and Lakers it will probably be a high second round pick, so it’s a little intriguing. It still might not be enough.
The Raptors could give up the 23rd pick in this coming draft to unload Carroll’s contract, but the Raptors would probably want something back if they are giving up a 1st round pick. Cory Joseph could also be expendable. He’s a decent backup, but in this era where the point guard is the strongest position in the league, he probably isn’t a starter. There might be a worry what happens if the Raptors trade Joseph and Kyle Lowry doesn’t re-sign. Joseph ranked behind Delon Wright and Fred VanVleet in real plus-minus this season. Real plus-minus isn’t the end all be all of stats, but Joseph struggled hard defensively this season. He also isn’t an elite playmaker or shooter. What Joseph does have going for him is clutchness. What I mean by this is he doesn’t get flustered in the moment. If a bucket is needed late in the 4th quarter Cory is one guy that can go out and get it. Being clutch probably isn’t enough of a reason for the Raptors to keep Joseph.
A couple of weeks ago I looked at the possibility of using Jonas Valanciunas to trade up in the draft.
Here is a scenario where the Raptors trade out of the draft entirely:
Raptors Give Up: Cory Joseph, DeMarre Carroll, & pick 23
Nuggets Give Up: Wilson Chandler
Why Would the Raptors Consider it?
DeMarre Carroll isn’t a viable player for the Raptors. Whether it’s him not fitting with the system (lack of ball movement) or his nagging injuries it’s clear DeMarre is not a player that will help the Raptors win games. As previously mentioned Cory Joseph is expendable. Delon Wright showed this season he can become the primary backup at point guard next season. And if Joseph is gone is opens up some minutes at shooting guard as well. Norman Powell desperately deserves more minutes so moving Joseph off those shooting guard minutes could be considered a good thing. It sucks to lose a first round pick, but it’s probably unlikely the Raptors draft a star with the 23rd pick. This draft is top heavy so outside the top 15 picks the goal is probably to hit on a role player. Wilson Chandler is only a role player himself, but he is a known commodity that can help the Raptors next year. Wilson Chandler would be able to come in and plug holes at both the small forward and power forward positions. Plus, this trade would save the Raptors roughly $10M in cap space next season. If the Raptors want to bring some of their free agents back they will likely need to cut salary to shave that luxury tax bill to a manageable place. This is not a sexy trade, but it makes sense for the Raptors.
Why Would the Nuggets Consider it?
Wilson Chandler made it known this season that he was not happy in Denver and there is speculation he could be moved. The Nuggets have some nice wing players in Gary Harris and Will Barton. Their rookies last season were Jamal Murray, Juan Hernangomez, and Malik Beasley. Murray is a promising combo guard who will probably split his minutes between point guard and shooting guard again. Murray may have been the Nuggets most buzzed about rookie, but switch forward Hernangomez was pretty good himself. Beasley didn’t play whole a lot due to injuries and the Nuggets massive amount of depth, but shouldn’t be written off. Jameer Nelson will turn 36 this coming season so it’s hard to expect him to play major minutes again. Emmanuel Mudiay struggled and was cut from the rotation. Cory Joseph could have some use on this Nuggets especially if Nelson’s body isn’t able to hold up over the course of the entire season. DeMarre might be able to play a little bit, but ultimately he wouldn’t have much of an impact on this Nuggets team. Pick 23 is the real prize in this deal for the Nuggets. They can choose to use the pick, package the pick with a player to either move up in the draft or use that package to get a player better than Wilson Chandler. If Wilson Chandler wants out and the Nuggets want to trade him getting a first round pick and Cory Joseph isn’t a bad return even if they have to eat DeMarre Carroll’s contract.
Trading DeMarre Carroll will be difficult, but not impossible. Masai isn’t just going to give away a king’s ransom to unload Carroll’s contract. However, if he can package Carroll with something of value and get a viable rotation played back he may be inclined to do it. Is Wilson Chandler (and saving $10M) a fair return for DeMarre Carroll, Cory Joseph, and pick 23?