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NBA trade deadline day live tracker: Raptors trade Norman Powell to Portland, Matt Thomas to Utah; What lies ahead for Kyle Lowry? – Toronto Star




  • 12:46 p.m.: Raptors trade Powell to Portland for Trent Jr., Hood

  • 12:30 p.m.: Denver trades package for Aaron Gordon

  • 9 a.m.: What should the Raptors do? Here’s what Doug Smith thinks

On this, the most exciting transaction day in pro sports, we’re going to have some fun while keeping the NBA news, the rumours and the reaction all in one safe space. Have a question or want to chat? Use the Conversations tool at the bottom of this blog by registering for free to (not available on the Star mobile app). Let’s get started. Deadline is 3 p.m. ET.

2:45 p.m.: Update from the Toronto Star desk — 15 minutes to go and we’re still doomscrolling.

2:30 p.m. (updated): The Atlanta Hawks have traded point guard Rajon Rondo to the Los Angeles Clippers for Lou Williams and two future second-round picks, sources told ESPN.

The Clippers were said to be engaging with the Raptors on point guard Kyle Lowry, as you’ll read below.

2:20 p.m.: New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart tweeted about the Toronto Star NBA trade deadline blog (unconfirmed): “Refreshing my feed every 5 secs.”

I know you all can relate, and we’re happy you’re here.

2:17 p.m.: What’s the hold up on a Kyle Lowry trade?

“The hold up on both teams is the inclusion of Talen Horton-Tucker from the Lakers and Tyler Herro from the Miami Heat,” says Shams Charania of The Athletic.

2:10 p.m.: The Raptors are trading guard Matt Thomas to the Utah Jazz for a future second-round pick, sources tell ESPN.

The trade opens up a roster spot for Toronto, meaning the Raptors could take on an additional player in a potential Lowry trade.

2:00 p.m. (updated): Norman Powell left quite a legacy on the franchise. Fans will never forget how he changed the course of the 2016 Pacers-Raptors playoffs series with a steal and thunderous dunk in Game 5.

My favourite Powell story is the one he penned for the Star just before the 2016 training camp when we asked him to provide advice to incoming rookies Jakob Poetl and Pascal Siakam.

Norman Powell’s open letter offers advice to Raptors rookies

Powell also made sure he contributed to the community.

Days before Christmas, he checked off the wish lists of more than 30 low-income families and providing them with grocery gift cards through the Yonge Street Mission.

For the 2019 Christmas, even thought he was recovering from an injury, he helped spread some holiday cheer on Saturday to the children displaced by a fire at 235 Gosford Blvd.

What’s your favourite Norm Powell memory? Share with us using the conversations tool below.

1:35 p.m.: Fun fact about the Gary Trent Jr. acquisition via Doug Smith — it now means the Raptors have the first Father-Son pairing ever to both play in Toronto.

Gary Trent Sr. played a dozen or so games in the horror of the 16-66 season in 1997-98. He came to Toronto along with Alvin Williams in the Damon Stoudamire deal. (more details on the trade posted below at 10:45 a.m.)

1:25 p.m.: The Golden State Warriors have emerged as a possible trade destination for Philadelphia’s Danny Green, sources tell the New York Times.

1:18 p.m.: While ESPN is reporting that the 76ers are no longer pursuing Lowry, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Heat remain very much in the mix — while the Lakers and Clippers also have engaged with the Raptors.

Yes, those Clippers.

Former Toronto Star digital desker and friend of the live blog Tanis Fowler tweeted in response to the Clippers report: “OK, FINE. We’ll take Kawhi and Ibaka off your hands.”

1:15. p.m.: Want to share your NBA Trade Deadline takes with us? Use the conversations tool below, we’d love to chat.

1:11 p.m.: FAN ANGLE: Some fans worry that losing Lowry will hurt the Raptors’ optics and erase any clout the franchise accumulated thanks to years of effort from the All-Star guard.

“We’re not going to have an identity anymore if they trade Lowry,” said Emmanuel Dennis, a 23-year-old Scarborough resident.

“Who’s going to be the face of the Raptors now? We’re going to be nobodies again. Even though we have a championship, we’re still getting disrespected. That’s just going to get worse.”

1:05 p.m.: So, who is newest Raptor Gary Trent Jr.? He certainly is the prize of this Norman Powell deal. The 22-year-old, in his third NBA season, has averaged 15 points over 41 games this year. He’ll be a restricted free agent at the end of this season. And we’ll have lots more to come on him.

12:46 p.m.: The Toronto Raptors have traded Norm Powell to the Portland Trailblazers on Thursday ahead of the NBA’s trade deadline, cources confirmed to the Star.

The Raptors received Gary Trent and Rodney Hood in return from Portland.

Powell has spent his entire career with the Raptors after being obtained as part of the most lopsided transaction ever pulled off by team president Masai Ujiri.

The 27-year-old native of San Diego arrived in Toronto on a draft-night trade in 2015 that saw Ujiri ship off Greivis Vasquez to the Milwaukee Bucks for Powell and the draft pick that ultimately became OG Anunoby.

Read more from Doug Smith here:

12:44 p.m.: The Oklahoma City Thunder are finalizing trading George Hill to the Philadelphia 76ers, sources tell The Athletic.

Does this take them out of the running for Kyle Lowry?

“This one is intriguing from the Raptors scheme of things,” said Raptors reporter Doug Smith on his live Twitter Spaces chat.

12:42 p.m.: Sacramento Kings are finalizing a deal to send Nemanja Bjelica to the Miami Heat, sources tell ESPN.

12:37 p.m.: Former Raptor Terrence Ross tweeted the official mood of this trade deadline. Stress, anxiety, anticipation. And there’s still more than two hours to go.

12:30 p.m.: Doug Smith said on his live Twitter chat now that he thinks the Sixers would benefit more from a Lowry trade than the Heat.

To join our Twitter Spaces by heading to the Twitter app on your phone. The conversation can be found on the top bar, where Fleets are, surrounded by a purple background. Doug is planning on chatting until 1 p.m. unless news breaks.

12:30 p.m.: Denver is sending Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton and a first-round pick to the Magic for Aaron Gordon, source tells ESPN.

12:20 p.m.: Could be another big trade down the pipe.

The Orlando Magic are progressing on a trade to send Aaron Gordon to the Denver Nuggets, sources tell the Athletic.

That would be the Magic’s third trade of the day, as they appear to be looking to the future.

12:08 p.m.: Doug Smith said on his live Twitter chat now that he heard that up to 20 teams are interested in Norman Powell.

To join our Twitter Spaces by heading to the Twitter app on your phone. The conversation can be found on the top bar, where Fleets are, surrounded by a purple background.

12:05 p.m.: The Star’s business feature writer Richard Warnica points out on Twitter that Lowry will go down as the greatest Raptor of all time and jokes that “there’s no doubt his most astonishing statistical achievement is selling a house for under asking in Toronto in 2021.”

This is the Star’s story when Lowry’s home was first listed and then after it was sold.

11:50 a.m.: Looks like we have the second big deal of the day, and it involves the Boston Celtics.

Boston finalizing deal to acquire Orlando guard Evan Fournier for two second-round picks, sources tell ESPN. The Celtics had a huge trade exception to use.

11:45 a.m.: This is your 15-minute warning!

At 12 p.m. ET, long-time Raptors reporter Doug Smith will be providing analysis and taking questions ahead of the NBA trade deadline.

His latest take? The Raptors shouldn’t let a recent slide force their hand at the trade deadline.

Join our Twitter Spaces by heading to the Twitter app on your phone. The conversation can be found on the top bar, where Fleets are, surrounded by a purple background.

11:40 a.m.: Kyle Lowry also left his mark on off the court in Toronto with his annual “Lowry Holiday Assists” program.

Back in 2016, the Star’s Doug Smith wrote about a group of 26 Toronto kids celebrating Christmas with an all-expense-paid shopping spree at Toys R Us.



11:35 a.m.: It’s Kyle Lowry’s 35th birthday today and fans are looking back fondly on his time with the Raptors.

“Lowry was the glue guy on the championship team,” said Dov Kahn, 18, a Toronto-born shooting guard set to play for Fleming College in Peterborough before the pandemic.

“He was the leader; they couldn’t have won a ring without him. His willingness to take a charge and bang bodies in the paint with the really big guys embodies the grittiness of Toronto basketball culture.”

That being said, Kahn isn’t opposed to trading the franchise icon.

“Get the man a statue, he’s the greatest Raptor of all time, but it’s time to rebuild,” he told the Star’s Ben Cohen.

11:15 a.m.: Whoa! The first blockbuster trade of the day, but it doesn’t involve Toronto.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Chicago Bulls are acquiring centre Nikola Vucevic and Al Farouq Aminu from Orlando for Otto Porter Jr., Wendell Carter Jr., and two first-round picks.

That counts as a Woj bomb.

Vucevic made the all-star team this year, the second time he was honoured. But he did struggle against Marc Gasol when the Raptors eliminated the Magic in the playoffs two years ago.

10:55 a.m.: At 12 p.m. ET, long-time Raptors reporter Doug Smith will be providing analysis and taking questions ahead of the NBA trade deadline.

His latest take? The Raptors shouldn’t let a recent slide force their hand at the trade deadline.

Join our Twitter Spaces by heading to the Twitter app on your phone. The conversation can be found on the top bar, where Fleets are, surrounded by a purple background.

10:45 a.m.: So what’s the biggest trade on deadline day the Raptors have made? It’s got to be obtaining Marc Gasol from Memphis for Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright and C.J. Miles, right?

This was Bruce Arthur’s take on it at the time.

But, and if you expand dealine deals to include trades in the days leading up to the deadline, you got to include the Damon Stoudamire trade in the discussion as one of the biggest in franchise history.

On Feb. 13, 1998, the Raptors traded Carlos Rogers, Damon Stoudamire and Walt Williams to the Portland Trail Blazers for Kenny Anderson, Gary Trent, Alvin Williams, two first-round picks and a second-round pick.

The Raptors had to deal a reportedly unhappy Stoudamire, the franchise’s first star a.k.a. Mighty Mouse.

But Toronto landed Alvin Williams, the team’s point guard for the next six years and who hit one of the biggest shots in franchise history against the Knicks to seal the franchise’s first series win.

If Masai Ujiri does make a deal, will he land a young player that can have as much of an impact as Williams?

10:20 a.m.: ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Denver is acquiring Cleveland centre JaVale McGee for Isaiah Hartenstein and two future protected second-round picks.

If this deal made your heart pound, then you definitely are an NBA trade deadline fanatic.

10 a.m.: What level of “NBA trade deadline fanatic” are you?

  • Have you typed the words “Kyle Lowry” into your favourite search engine more than 17 times in the last six weeks?
  • Have you turned your “Woj Bomb” Twitter notifications on?
  • Are you glued to our live blog and absolutely loving it?

If you answered yes or no to any of these questions, you’ve come to the right place!

9 a.m.: What does the Star’s Doug Smith think the Raptors should do? Doug puts on his GM cap in this story prior to the victory Wednesday over the Nuggets.

What they must do, however, is disassociate the last 10 games from the next two years. Overreacting to what’s going on now is a dangerous route to take and it would be ill-advised for Ujiri or Webster to blink this week in the light of a losing streak.

Draft picks are nice but dealing either of those two players to legitimate title contenders will yield picks in the late 20s, and there’s never a ton of value there. Moving them for young players sounds great but the Raptors are already to committed to a young core of VanVleet, OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. Why would they trade into any of those settled positions?

12 a.m.: We already had one trade overnight! Involving two former Raptor point guards, no less. The Detroit Pistons are trading Delon Wright to the Sacramento Kings for Cory Joseph and two second-round picks, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

11 p.m. Wednesday: Drake even interrupted Lowry’s postgame conference with a phone call.

Click here for the video.

10:30 p.m. Wednesday: If Kyle Lowry played his last game with the Raptors, he went out with a bang.

Shrugging off a gruesome nine-game losing streak with one of their most impressive performances of the season, the Raptors routed the Denver Nuggets 135-111 on a night awash in emotion.

Lowry finished with eight points and nine assists before checking out with about five minutes left. He finished with an individual plus-42 on the night that was the second-best in Toronto franchise history behind a plus-46 from Mark Jackson.

Doug Smith has all the details from an emotional night.



Drop your NBA trade deadline takes below.

Conversations are opinions of our readers and are subject to the Code of Conduct. The Star does not endorse these opinions.

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Motor racing-Canadian Grand Prix cancelled for second year



(Reuters) -The Canadian Grand Prix scheduled for June 13 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal has been cancelled for the second year in a row, CBC Radio reported on Thursday although Formula One said discussions remained ongoing.

With the spread of new COVID-19 variants and Canada battling to contain a third wave of the virus, Montreal public health authorities concluded that even if run behind closed doors without spectators the risks were too high, reported the CBC.

F1 officials, according to the CBC, wanted to bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine for the hundreds of staff, crew members and drivers and rely on private medical staff and have the entire operation run in a bubble.

The race is scheduled to follow on immediately from Azerbaijan, whose grand prix is scheduled for June 6 in Baku and is due to go ahead after also being cancelled last year.

“We are continuing our discussions with the promoter in Canada and have no further comment,” an F1 spokesperson told Reuters.

The Autosport website quoted a spokesperson for the Canadian promoter as saying the radio report referred to “a document of recommendations from public health.

“We as an organisation have not had confirmation from our public health officials and won’t comment until we get an official confirmation.”

Canada, with some of the world’s toughest travel rules, obliges its citizens and residents arriving from abroad to self-isolate for 14 days.

International arrivals are required to quarantine for up to three days in a hotel.

One of Canada‘s biggest sporting events, it would mark the second consecutive year the grand prix has been removed from the F1 schedule due to the spread of COVID-19.

Media reports have suggested Turkey is on standby to be slotted in as Canada‘s replacement.

The Istanbul circuit is logistically convenient for freight coming from Baku and was brought in last year also at short notice to bolster a calendar ravaged by the pandemic.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto/Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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Boston Bruins Add Offense With Solid Taylor Hall Trade – Boston Hockey Now



The Boston Bruins clearly understood they had serious deficiencies on their NHL roster this season and credit them for going and doing something about it.

The B’s finished off their Sunday night fireworks ahead of the NHL trade deadline by sending a second round pick and Anders Bjork to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for top-6 winger Taylor Hall and bottom-6 forward Curtis Lazar. TSN’s Darren Dreger, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and ESPN’s John Buccigross were the first to report about the completed deal between the Bruins and Buffalo Sabres in the hours following the B’s getting stomped by the Washington Capitals, 8-1, at TD Garden.

The Buffalo Sabres retained half of the $8 million salary that Hall signed for prior to the start of the 2021 hockey season.

The 29-year-old Hall is having a terrible season in Buffalo with just two goals and 19 points in 37 games along with a minus-21 rating after he chose to sign a one-year deal with the Sabres during the offseason. But he brings legitimate offensive talent as a former No. 1 overall pick and Hart Trophy winner to a Boston Bruins team that’s ranked in the bottom third of the NHL offensively all season.

The Bruins were one of the suitors for Hall prior to him choosing the Sabres months ago, and now they get him for a deep discount while keeping their own first round picks after making their deadline deals.

Holding onto their own first round pick was a priority for Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney after spending first rounders at the deadline in two of the last three deadlines in trades for damaged goods Rick Nash and Ondrej Kase.

The 26-year-old Lazar has five goals and 11 points in 33 games as a bottom-6 forward for the Sabres this season and is signed for $800,000 for next season. It seemed clear that something was going on with the 24-year-old Anders Bjork over the last couple of weeks as he was a healthy scratch for five straight games, including Sunday night against Washington, and heads to Buffalo hoping to further develop a game built on speed and skill level that hasn’t translated into offense as of yet.

Hall should fit right into the top-6 with the Bruins as a skilled winger for playmaking center David Krejci, but it remains to be seen how he’s going to fit as another left winger on a team with Nick Ritchie and Jake DeBrusk.

Either Ritchie or DeBrusk is going to have to play the off wing with a Krejci/Hall combo, but that’s a problem that Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy will gladly figure out after being forced to piece together lineups all season due to injuries and offensive inconsistency. With the acquisition of Hall, Lazar and left-handed defenseman Mike Reilly on Sunday night, it would appear the Boston Bruins are largely done with deals ahead of Monday’s NHL trade deadline.

Interestingly enough, the Boston Bruins are set to play the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night at TD Garden.

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Drouin must return to mentality that’s led to success this season –



It was something Dominique Ducharme said after his Montreal Canadiens played an abysmal game against the Ottawa Senators last week, something that only truly resonated after they lost 3-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday — a game that emboldened the struggle Jonathan Drouin’s currently enduring.

“Ninety per cent of the mistakes we made were mental, and the rest of it was above our shoulders.” the coach said after the 6-3 loss to Ottawa last Saturday, somewhat channelling New York Yankees legend Yogi Berra with this bit of wit and wisdom.

It was hard not to think of those words watching Drouin play the way he did on Wednesday. For much of this season, the talented left winger has played a primary role in Montreal’s success. He’s led them with 19 assists, been tenacious on the forecheck, physically engaged all over the ice, cerebral as always in his execution and, as he’s said on several occasions, relatively unconcerned by whether or not his name has been featured on the scoresheet.

But it seemed clear, after watching Drouin dump a breakaway into Jack Campbell’s chest with one of 32 shots the Maple Leafs goaltender turned aside to set a franchise record with his 10th consecutive win, he had diverted from that. And that affected the way he played the rest of the game.

It was Drouin’s fifth in a row without a point, his 18th without a goal, and he’d have to be a robot not to be suffering the mental wear of not seeing the puck go in more than twice since the season started, the torment of seeing only three per cent of his shots hit the back of the net through 36 games after 10 per cent of them resulted in goals through the first 348 games of his career.

“It is weighing on me where, when I have a chance and miss the goal, I might be trying to score too much,” Drouin said. “It’s something I obviously think about — every player would — and I’ve just gotta put it past me and just keep shooting pucks.”

Ideally, the 26-year-old wouldn’t be thinking about any of this. These are thoughts that weigh a player down and right now the Canadiens are in tough without Brendan Gallagher for the rest of the season and Drouin needs to be light and free to help account for that loss. And in order for him to do that, he needs to focus on what he does best.

Because the reality is that even though Drouin can score more, scoring isn’t what he needs to do in order to be at his best and really help this team.

“When his feet are moving and he’s making plays, Drou’s a pass-first guy,” explained Jake Allen, who made 29 saves in Carey Price’s absence. “When his feet are moving, his head’s always in it. When his feet are moving, he’s controlling the play, controlling the puck. He’s a guy who really can control the play for a whole line. You want the puck on that guy’s stick and let the other guys do the dirty work and he’ll find them.”

But when Drouin’s feet aren’t moving, there just isn’t enough of that other stuff happening.

When Drouin’s feet weren’t moving, he lost a battle for the puck in the offensive zone and allowed the NHL’s leading goal scorer to start the rush that resulted in the winning play of Wednesday’s game.

Auston Matthews to Mitch Marner, back to Matthews, off Allen and slammed into Montreal’s net by Zach Hyman with 9:39 remaining in the third period, with Drouin watching from just inside his own blue line.

“You give a 3-on-2 to the Matthews line and it’s the kind of play they’re going to make you pay on,” said Ducharme.

Was Drouin still thinking about that shot he didn’t bury in the second period?

It’s understandable if he was, but those are the kind of thoughts he needs to shake right now.

“He wants to do well, and I’m sure it’s getting a little bit in his head,” said Ducharme. “I think the best remedy for him is to be scoring that goal or making that big play, and I think he’s going to be energized by that and less thinking, more acting.

“It is a fine line. Those kind of thoughts is not something that you want to happen. But when you receive that puck and you see the opening and stuff, (the slump) comes back to (your mind). That’s why the mental part of the game is something that’s very tricky. It’s not his will to be thinking that way. Every player who’s going through a time like that will have that thought and scoring that goal will take him to a different level. At those kind of times you need to make it even simpler and being even more inside going at the net and finding a garbage (goal) right there and you put it in and sometimes you go on a little run. It might be that kind of goal that he needs to get that monkey off his back.”

It’s the kind of goal Corey Perry scored twice to give the Canadiens a chance in this game.

But Drouin isn’t Perry, who rightly pointed out after the game he’s made a career of scoring goals that way. And even if Drouin can borrow from what Perry does next time he has a chance like the one Brett Kulak set him up with for that breakaway, there are other ways he can positively impact the game.

You can appreciate that Drouin said he’s putting pressure on himself to score more and help make up for the goals the team will be missing with Gallagher sidelined, but that might not get him to where he needs to be mentally to contribute as much as he already has this season.

What would, though, is a sharp turn towards the mentality he described just days ago. The one that’s enabled him to be a much more consistent player this season than he has in seasons past.

“When I was younger, I’d stay on one game or stay on one play for too long and wouldn’t be able to let it go for a bit or a couple of days,” Drouin said. “But I think for me now it’s can I look at myself in the mirror after a game and did I give my good effort? Was I a part of this game? Was I doing something right in a lot of areas?

“That’s what I do now. I think points are there, goals are there, assists are there, but it’s just about playing that real game and playing to help your team win.”

Drouin’s done a lot of that this season and has a chance to get right back to it when the Winnipeg Jets visit the Bell Centre Thursday.

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