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Two surprise deals for Toronto Raptors ahead of NBA trade deadline




The Toronto Raptors were active ahead of the NBA’s trade deadline, making two separate deals.

Guard Ochai Agbaji and Canadian centre Kelly Olynyk were sent to Toronto from the Utah Jazz for guard Kira Lewis Jr., forward Otto Porter Jr., and a 2024 first-round pick.

Guard Dennis Schroder and forward Thad Young were then traded by the Raptors to the Brooklyn Nets for guard Spencer Dinwiddie. 

Toronto then waived Dinwiddie in a corresponding move.

The Raptors held three first-round picks in this summer’s draft. ESPN reports that the lowest of them will be sent to the Jazz as part of the deal for Olynyk and Agbaji.

Olynyk, born in Toronto but raised in Kamloops, B.C., was the captain of Canada’s bronze-medal winning team at the FIBA World Cup this past fall.

He is part of its core of players that have committed to playing at the Paris Olympics in July. 

Olynyk is averaging 8.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists this season. Agbaji, the 14th pick in the 2022 NBA draft, is averaging 5.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 0.9 assists.

Porter is averaging 2.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.5 assists this season. The 30-year-old veteran forward has been snake-bitten since signing with Toronto on a two-year deal in July 2022. 

He underwent season-ending surgery on his left foot after playing only eight games last season. He missed several weeks in January with a knee injury this season and hasn’t played since returning.

Lewis only played in one game with Toronto — earning a personal foul in 1:33 of playing time — after he was sent to the Raptors on Jan. 17 as part of the deal that moved all-star forward Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers. Lewis is averaging 2.8 points, 1.1 assists and 0.9 rebounds over 16 games this season.

Schroder signed a two-year US$26 million contract with Toronto on June 30 and was the Raptors starting point guard at the beginning of the season. A trade that brought Canadian swingman RJ Barrett and guard Immanuel Quickley from the New York Knicks to Toronto on Dec. 30 moved Schroder to the bench. He’s averaging 13.7 points, 6.1 assists and 2.7 rebounds so far this season.

Young has seen limited action over most of his tenure with the Raptors, but has played more since early January. The 35-year-old veteran is averaging five points, 3.3 rebounds, and two assists over 23 games this season.

Dinwiddie has averaged 12.6 points, six assists, and 3.3 rebounds over 48 games. He’s played more than 30 minutes per game for the Nets this season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2024

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