This is the Raptors’ second big move this month, after acquiring Serge Ibaka to contend with the Cavaliers and Celtics in the East. The Raptors are clearly the contending team that has done the most upgrading.
The Raptors held out on giving Phoenix the first-round pick it originally wanted in any Tucker deal, and will reap the benefits.
Tucker provides Toronto with another strong addition on the defensive end, and some three-point shooting range. He’s shooting 34 percent from there on more than two attempts per game. He’s scoring seven points and pulling down six rebounds.
The Suns take on Sullinger for at least the rest of this season. He’s on an expiring contract. The big man has played in just 11 games this season after returning from foot surgery.
Why this trade makes sense for the Raptors
Toronto has a real chance of contending now. Adding two strong defensive pieces was a no-brainer move to put the Raptors into a position to compete with the Cavs.
Tucker is on the final year of his contract, though, and this could just turn into a trade for a playoff rental.
The Raptors will have decisions to make this offseason as Ibaka, Tucker, and Patrick Patterson are all unrestricted free agents.
Why this trade makes sense for the Suns
The Suns have a lot of building to do, and adding a pair of second-round picks helps some. They won’t take on a long-term deal, as Sullinger is set to become a free agent this summer, so no harm was done financially in the making.
The 31-year-old Tucker wasn’t a part of their rebuild process. In exchange, they’ll receive 2017 and 2018 Raptors second-round picks, which could be used to find and develop young players.