NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers' Pau Gasol to Toronto, Raptors Welcome Back Carter

( [email protected] ) May 19, 2014 11:54 PM EDT

The Toronto Raptors emerged as an unexpected winner this season, and rode their success all the way to game seven of the first round of the playoffs. They were led by 28 year old point guard Kyle Lowry, and they go into this offseason with an eye on building around the point guard, and putting a big time contender on the floor next year.

Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol would fit in well in Toronto. (Photo : lakernation) 

According to Sports World Report, after Lowry is locked to a solid contract,  an elite big man could be one of the key pieces the Raptors need to make it to round 2 next year. Some think Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol could fit that bill. The forward/center is looking to sign to a winning team to finish up his career, and Gasol would work well in Toronto. He is strong inside, and he would give the Raptors another option besides Lowry or Demar Derozan.

It's also being reported around the league that the Raptors are interested in bringing Vince Carter back. He averaged just over 11 points per game this season for the Mavericks, a far cry from his heyday in Toronto, but that's not all they are looking for.

Dallas Mavericks Vince Carter
Dallas Mavericks guard Vince Carter (25) has enjoyed playing in Dallas, but Toronto is calling him home. (Photo: Reuters)

Carter is no longer the high flying act he once was, nowadays he is a cagy vet, who can serve as a team's emotional leader. He helped the Mavericks maintain focus and get into the playoffs this year, and he was truly an asset in the playoffs, especially in game 3.

Even so, Rant Sports makes an interesting argument that the rapper Drake is going to sway the decision to bring "Vinsanity" back to Toronto because he is serving as ambassador to the team this year, and he has always loved Carter. Rant's report calls it a publicity stunt if the Raptors bring Carter back, but it may be because the team wants him to help mold Lowry, who they hope to have for many more years.

There has been some noise about Indiana's Evan Turner north of the border, with the thinking that Lowery could help to create space, and Turner could take advantage, creating another option for the Raptors. Turner averaged 14 points per game with the Pacers this year, and could bounce to league stardom along with Lowry, as Carter takes a Canadian curtain call.

All the Turner talk will have to wait though, as the Pacers are still battling through the postseason.

With the talent the Raptors showed this year, a few tweaks with an eye on team chemistry, might make for a longer tour through the playoffs next year.