TORONTO — A day after the Toronto Raptors roared to a franchise-record 12th consecutive win, the team's front office decided not to mess with a good thing.
The Raptors stood pat as Thursday's 3 p.m. ET deadline came and went, and general manager Bobby Webster said it's tougher to mix things up when the team is playing well.
"I think there's always that fear you want to strike the right balance between pushing yourselves to think about the team and think about the construction of the team and the future of the team, but also respecting what this team has done and respecting what they did last year and their growth on it this year," Webster said.
Virtually written off this season after losing Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in the off-season, the reigning NBA champions have proven doubters wrong, improving to 37-14 — second in the East and third best in the league — with Wednesday's 119-118 win over the Indiana Pacers. Their 12-game win streak leads the league (Boston is second with five straight wins).
And what's most remarkable is the Raptors continue to find ways to win, despite being severely banged up. Seven key Raptors have missed 10 or more games this season: Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Norman Powell, Fred VanVleet and Patrick McCaw.
"The good part is . . . we feel like we continue to grow," Webster said. "We haven't been healthy all year. So I think, where we are now we'd all take, with some improvement."
The Raptors pulled off one of the biggest deals at last year's trade deadline, sending Jonas Valanciunas, C.J. Miles and Delon Wright and a future second-round pick to Memphis for Gasol.
The Raptors fielded numerous calls leading up to the 3 p.m. deadline, Webster said, but nothing really caught their eye.
"We had a lot of options, we had long-term deals, short-term deals, expensive deals, mid-tier deals," Webster said. "We had it all. Big trades. Tinkering. Stuff around the edges. . . it was a typical trade deadline."
Miami and Philadelphia were the Raptors' only conference opponents that made significant moves at the deadline.
The Heat reportedly acquired Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill from Memphis in a three-team deal that would send Justise Winslow and Dion Waiters to the Grizzlies and James Johnson to Minnesota.
The Sixers, who are slumping in sixth, apparently bolstered their bench by acquiring Glenn Robinson and Alec Burks from Golden State for draft picks.
The deals still required rubber-stamping by the NBA on Thursday.
Neither Milwaukee, which tops the Eastern Conference, Boston (third), or Indiana (fifth) made moves.
Andrew Wiggins was the lone Canadian on the move Thursday, in arguably the day's biggest deal. The Vaughan, Ont., native, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft, was traded to Golden State for D'Angelo Russell.
Dillon Brooks of Mississauga, Ont., signed a three-year contract extension worth US$35 million with Memphis on Wednesday night. The move is good news for Canada's men's basketball team — with a contract in hand, the third-year swingman should be available for the last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament in late-June in Victoria.
Early signs had Tristan Thompson on the move from Cleveland, but the Cavaliers didn't deal the veteran forward from Brampton, Ont. Thompson will likely play out his contract with Cleveland and become a free agent this summer, virtually eliminating his chances of playing in the qualifier.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2020.
Lori Ewing , The Canadian Press