Toronto Raptors Turned Down Offer For James Harden

  • Mark Evans
The Toronto Raptors apperantly really wanted to keep Jonas Valanciunas in town. credit: cbc.ca

The Toronto Raptors apperantly really wanted to keep Jonas Valanciunas in town.
credit: cbc.ca

When the Oklahoma City Thunder traded shooting guard James Harden to the Houston Rockets prior to the season, there was a lot of speculation surrounding where else Harden could have ended up. Due to salary restrictions and already having Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka locked up long-term, the Thunder almost had no choice but to deal their Sixth Man of the Year.

They got a solid return, and stockpiled some assets that should help them in the coming years.

Harden has been great this season, proving that he was not just a product of the players around him. Who wouldn’t want a player like James Harden, right?

The Toronto Raptors, apparently. Via Grantland:

As for Valanciunas, the promising Raptors big man who’s been averaging a 15-7 since mid-March, here’s a true story: When Sam Presti was quietly shopping James Harden last October, he called Toronto to feel out a Jonas package. And got rebuffed. Quickly. Let’s give Jonas the edge over Enes if only because Weezer never wrote a song called “My Name Is Enes.”

Yes, the Toronto Raptors did not want to part ways with Jonas Valanciunas to land James Harden. Doesn’t this seem like a total no brainer if you’re Toronto? You are in a market where it’s tough to attract superstars in free agency, forcing you to look at the trade market even closer. How do you not take this deal every day of the week?
Then again, this is the same franchise who traded for Rudy Gay and his massive contract. Also the same franchise who thought that signing Landry Fields would land them Steve Nash.
This is why the Raptors are a joke, and why they can’t have nice things.

Mark Evans, Assistant Manager/Editor of Content

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