Raptors can work as free agents but do not disrupt the structure of the team

As always, the Toronto Raptors keep their plans close to their hearts ahead of the NBA calendar inflections (trading deadlines, drafts, and now the opening of a free agency is imminent).

But just because their vision isn’t a prey to the NBA’s social media or news cycle doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to guess their intentions.

Often, what they have in mind is hiding in a clear view.

The Raptors Vice President Masai Ujiri’s club aftermath season for guidance on where the Raptors are leaning when the Raptors’ window to negotiate with free agents opens Thursday at 6 pm EST. It is worth referring to the closing remarks. Their stunning 48-win season lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of six games in the playoffs.

He preached optimism, patience, and continuity.

“I think it’s still a team of the future,” he said. “We still have the patience to build this team and we know everything it takes to grow these guys. It’s just an NBA, so in the sense that things don’t happen. No, but we’ve always preached growth and development and young players here, and I think we’ve done that. “

So is the core still intact?


As we’ve seen through the draft process, it’s time for other club efforts to convince the Raptors to sell OG Anunoby cheaply and add another lottery with Scottie Barnes.

And maybe now that I’m in a free agency, I’m expecting a few more everyday days. There are fine adjustments, but no major changes.

Some of them are context-sensitive.

As my colleague Blake Murphy laid out earlier, the Raptors act as an “over the cap” team. That is, under the salary cap, there is no room for pursuing a handful of shiny penny in a thin free agent class. ..

Instead, they have a complete mid-level exception (‘MLE’) that they offer-it’s best in a four-year deal worth around $ 44 million-and a twice-yearly exception (‘ BAE’), two-year trading begins at $ 4.05 million.

Similarly, the Raptors own “bird rights” to their own most important free agents, Chris Boucher and Thaddeus Young, so they can sign them even if they exceed the limit. increase.

Theoretically, they could offer a five-year deal between Boucher and Young at the NBA’s highest salary, and still use both exceptions, but in reality, Raptor is the league’s fine tax threshold. Below $ 149 million, we want to avoid both fines. While in a position to share the distribution from the team that pays the luxury tax penalty to the team below the threshold, to the “tax team”.

The Raptors can spend a total of about $ 30 million on salaries for those who sign with Boucher, Young, and Exceptions.

Is that enough?

That should be it. The wildcard is Boucher. It’s an unconventional player in the right circumstances and seems to focus on how to maintain the NBA rotation for the rest of his later career. A seemingly tireless motor chases an aggressive rebound, sprints in transitions, cuts hard from the weak side, finds odd 3s in attacks, draws charges, and otherwise throws itself into enemy shooters in defense. ..

The Raptors will be able to make competitive offers from Boucher’s point of view, but will game out the market so that they can offer offers that do not interfere with spending in other areas.

please think about it. It’s hard to understand how Boucher’s skill set and his age (which turns 30 in January) fit him to the few teams that have cap space this offseason. He doesn’t make much sense in Orlando, San Antonio and Indiana. All of these have been rebuilt with young people, or in the case of Knicks and Detroit, it seems that cap space is already being used for various transactions.

Therefore, the biggest threat to anyone signing Boucher away from Toronto is one of the other eight teams that are above the cap but below the luxury tax threshold, and another team is his. You are using a mid-level exception.

In that case, you can talk to Boucher, who is suitable for Charlotte and Portland, but the Raptors will compete in dollars and terms with almost anyone in Toronto unless someone has a four-year contract in Montreal. I’m sure I can.

And there is also the issue of fit. Boucher evolved from curiosity at the end of the roster to part of the team’s structure, accepting the role that Raptors head coach Nick Nurse envisioned for him, rocker in his fearless, fierce play. A style that has won respect in the room and front office.

Boucher spends the summer in Toronto and uses the OVO Athletic Center during the off-season more than most people. Exercise regularly early in the morning and then return to the morning to resume. Plus, given that the Raptors are expected to play exhibition games in Montreal this season as well, it’s a great place to hear the crowd chanting Boucher’s name at the Bell Center, as we did in the fall of 2018. Is there a service?

This is a two-year contract that costs $ 24 million and comes with team options and some light warranty for the third season.

Similarly, the Raptors believe they are in a good position to bring back veteran Thaddeus Young.They see him not only as a useful rotating part when he enters his 16th It’s the season, but the investment in mentorship allows us to serve precious Akiuwa, Scottie Barnes and more while acting as a resource for the team’s young leaders Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby.

That said, the 34-year-old market that has been around rotation for the past two seasons shouldn’t be too competitive. Some of the league’s tax-deficient elite teams could use the “intermediate level of taxpayers” to track Young and offer transactions from $ 6.5 million, which was successful. If so, the taxpayers can be even higher if needed. However, we aim to limit the term to one year and the second term with some kind of limited warranty.

Young was enthusiastic about his experience in Toronto after the frustrating seasons in Chicago and San Antonio. This feels like a deal that the Raptors can successfully complete. Perhaps a one-year deal with Team Options will range from $ 5 million to $ 7 million.

This brings us to the players that the Raptors may be trying to win. Toronto has multiple needs for its roster. Size and rim protection, additional 3-point shots, and a secondary playmaking chief in it.

It is difficult to deal with multiple of them using MLE or BAL. What is the most likely scenario? The Raptors are taking advantage of the buyer’s market for big names to hold the fort while Round 2 Pick Christian Koloko develops at his own pace.

The market is like the Raptors could even secure high quality players without the full MLE. As exceptions, Bobby Portis of Milwaukee Bucks, Jusuf Nurkić of Portland, Kevon Looney of the Golden State Warriors and Mitchell Robinson of Knicks are all expected to re-contract with existing teams.

Two players to watch?

The Los Angeles Clippers may not be able to sustain Isaiah Hartenstein after agreeing to use taxpayers at the mid-level of John Wall and signing Ibitzazbak for a three-year $ 33 million extension.

Hartenstein is a 24-year-old former second round pick who spent the breakout season from the Clippers bench. Every 36 minutes, he shot 62.6 percent off the floor with an average of 16.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.3 blocks.

More noteworthy in terms of the Raptors? The 7-foot player led the NBA with a percentage of defensive field goals allowed on the rim at the 47.5 mark, surpassing some of the league’s most famous defenders: Rudy Gobert (49.3), Jaren Jackson Jr. (49.3), Jarrett Allen (50.9).Given his age, his playmaking skill-assist to turnover ratio is usually 2: 1. – And his ability to defend the paint, you can see the Raptors doing a big and serious run in their fifth year.

Another option for the Raptors to consider is Thomas Bryant, the Big Man of Washington Wizards. But in the 2019-20 bubble, consider that he shot an average of 18.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.4 steals and blocks combined, 3 to 40.5 percent, and 53.2 percent from the floor. In the first nine games of 2020-21 – before his injury – Bryant resumed from where he left off, averaging 15.9 points and 6.8 rebounds, with 3 to 42.9 percent shots.

His production fell in 27 games he played in the past season. This is not surprising given that he was out in a calendar year. He may not be the rim that Hartenstein represents, but he has shown that he can successfully spread his floor for the big ones, which has its own advantages. He is a former college teammate at Anunobies, Indiana, and shares an agent with Pascal Siakam. This is also noteworthy.

Given the history of his injuries, Bryant would seem like a more affordable option. Some predictions seem to deserve the lowest veteran. The Raptors should have enough knowledge about him, whether there is another need to work well for both sides, find a deal that uses only part of the MLE, and fill the rest. Provides an option to check.

There are other names in the market. Orlando Magic’s Mobamba is probably the most interesting, but given Magic, it’s run by Jeff Weltman, a former Raptors general manager. – By refusing to make him a qualified offer, he is expected to become an unlimited free agent. His proven ability to shoot from deep and change paint shots.

There’s always the possibility that the Raptors will switch to a more temporary option and do something short-term and affordable with their old friend Bismack Biyombo, or JaVale McGee, who finished last year’s Phoenix season with great results. ..

However, no matter which direction the Raptors go, it’s unlikely that it’s an offboard choice, and it’s unlikely that Toronto needs to destroy the structure of an existing team.

They have already said so.

Raptors can work as free agents but do not disrupt the structure of the team

Source link Raptors can work as free agents but do not disrupt the structure of the team

Related Articles

Back to top button