May 4, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) comes off the court after a loss to the Brooklyn Nets in game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre. Brooklyn defeated Toronto 104-103. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

What does next season's Raptors roster look like?

May 4, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward-center Amir Johnson (15) reacts after fouling out against the Brooklyn Nets in game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre. Brooklyn defeated Toronto 104-103. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

 

“The king is dead – long live the king” Medieval announcement of death of the monarch, and the simultaneous ascension of his replacement, thus ensuring continuity and discouraging insurrection

The Raptors season ended abruptly, and the new one has begun. This “season” of course is not on the playing floor, but in the boardroom, where General Manager Masai Ujiri must concern himself with who’s staying, and who’s going. We’re going to offer him some help.

KEEPERS

  1. Kyle Lowry
  2. DeMar Derozan
  3. Jonas Valanciunas
  4. Amir Johnson
  5. Terrence Ross
  6. Greivis Vasquez
  7. Patrick Patterson
  8. a really hot draft pick

NICE TO HAVE

  1. Nando De Colo
  2. Tyler Hansbrough

THANKS FOR COMING OUT

  1. John Salmons
  2. Chuck Hayes
  3. Landry Fields
  4. Steve Novak

KICK BUTT IN SUMMER LEAGUE, AND WE CAN TALK

  1. Julyan Stone
  2. Dwight Buycks

HELPFUL FREE AGENTS

  1. ?
  2. ?

See how easy that was? NOT…This is the NBA, not fantasyland. Let’s get real.

ON SOLID GROUND

  1. DeMar DeRozan
  2. Jonas Valanciunas
  3. Terrence Ross

LIKELY TO BE WINED & DINED FOR MONTHS, AND POSSIBLY GONE

  1. Kyle Lowry

WE’VE GOT CONTRACTS, SO WE’RE HERE WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT, UNLESS YOU CAN TRADE US (NOT BLOODY LIKELY)

  1. John Salmons
  2. Chuck Hayes
  3. Landry Fields
  4. Steve Novak

 

ON THE BUBBLE (i.e., NON-GUARANTEED or QUALIFYING-OFFER CONTRACTS), SO WE CAN BE DISCARDED LIKE YESTERDAY’S NEWSPAPER

  1. Amir Johnson
  2. Greivis Vasquez
  3. Tyler Hansbrough
  4. Nando De Colo

EVEN GREAT PERFORMANCES IN SUMMER LEAGUE LIKELY WON’T HELP (THERE’S NO ROOM)

  1. Julyan Stone
  2. Dwight Buycks

WHO KNOWS?

  1. a really hot draft pick, but realistically the #20 pick may not crack the big team’s roster; likewise our two second-rounders. Will all of these guys get parked in the D-League?

Now that I’ve restated the situation facing Masai in this fashion, I hope it’s all too clear how tricky his task of improving the Raps will be this off-season. Everything he does hinges on the decision of Kyle Lowry. If he re-joins our team on a 3-year deal (let’s say), our appeal to free agents just increased by about five hundred percent. If he succumbs to the blandishments of other teams, we’re in terra incognita.

We’re not done with this topic by a long shot, but we’ll stop for now.

 

 

 

 

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