Grade the trade: Bucks add lockdown defender in mock deal with Raptors

Trade rumors are heating up across the NBA.
Milwuakee Bucks v Denver Nuggets
Milwuakee Bucks v Denver Nuggets / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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Toronto's POV on this mock trade

Unlike the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto has a very young roster with just three players over the age of 30. Following the Siakam trade and extension handed to Scottie Barnes, the Raptors are clearly in a rebuilding phase and have a plethora of young, talented players on their roster.

Brown played 34 games for them this season and started in just 11, mainly as a point guard, which was a position he played in his first few seasons in the league before moving to the wing position. What will be on the Raptors' mind is what they can get for Bruce Brown.

If other contenders throw in draft capital and maybe a young player, will that be more convincing than a straight-up deal for Lopez? The likely answer is yes. They have two picks in this year's draft and may look to either trade up using Brown and their first-round pick or collect assets for future drafts.

Lopez could be a nice addition for the Raptors as a veteran presence to help guide those younger players as well as being a defensive pillar for them to build around. The other option is to move him to another team in order to fetch draft capital or younger players that fit their timeline better.

Jakob Poeltl is the current starting center on the roster, so rotating between him and Lopez would be useful. Kelly Olynyk is there as the backup five already, and he has a contract until the end of the 2025-26 season. With him being slightly younger than Lopez, Olynyk could then be moved and potentially give Toronto a better package in a trade.

As a straight-up deal for the Raptors, they may find it tough to accept without any draft compensation, so a second-round pick being thrown in may be enough to let Brown go. With him now being on an expiring contract and unlikely to re-sign with the Raptors, cashing in on him now while his value is high makes sense. Yet, as mentioned earlier, they may feel they can get more for Brown than just a straight-player swap.

It is not the worst deal the Raptors could get, and Lopez would be able to be flipped with his expiring deal. There would be an avenue there for Toronto to go cash in on both players to keep building their roster for the future.

They may also explore other options to see what contenders are willing to part ways with in order to acquire Brown. The Thunder getting Caruso for a straight-player swap when reports suggested the Bulls wanted two first-round picks for him may see other contenders suddenly willing to throw more at a role player like Brown in order to make their run at the championship in 2025.

The Raptors could look to receive draft compensation as part of this deal or may be looking to add younger pieces to develop, but this isn't a terrible trade from their point of view.

Grade for Raptors: B-