In recent hours we have found out that the Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors were pretty close to finish a deal that would have changed the current moments of both franchises. Back in 2017, Toronto and Oklahoma City were two good teams that were looking to make changes in order to boost their levels; it seems like they were about to merge and make a blockbuster trade that couldn’t be pulled off.
According to ESPN’s insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Raptors and Thunder reportedly discussed a trade that would have sent guard DeMar DeRozan in exchange for guard Victor Oladipo and big man Domantas Sabonis in 2017. It was never completed, though, and the Thunder found a better way to trade two of their most prominent players at a time in the Indiana Pacers, who sent All-Star Paul George to Oklahoma City.
“When Oklahoma City traded for Paul George, the Thunder could have done the same exact deal at that time for DeMar DeRozan,” Wojnarowski said on Woj Pod. “They could have done Sabonis and Oladipo for DeRozan. In some ways, it would have been safer because (DeRozan) was under contract. They felt Paul George was the better player and they said, ‘Let’s roll the dice, we’re going to convince him to stay.’“
In the end, things went different for both franchises; OKC convinced PG to stay with the team and gave him a four-year, $136.9 million maximum contract while providing the Pacers a guard that became one of the best players in the Eastern Conference and a very reliable big man that now is one of the best bench players in the association.
As for the Raptors, they traded DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs last offseason in the blockbuster trade that involved Kawhi Leonard. Things appear to be good for the Raptors since Kawhi looks comfortable leading the Canadian to thrive in the NBA playoffs while DeRozan proved that he’s not as good as people believed now that he plays under Gregg Popovich’s coaching.