Apr 16, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward (20) dribbles in double overtime against the Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) at Target Center. The Utah Jazz win 136-130 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Potential Free Agents for Raptors Radar Part II


Apr 13, 2014; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe (10) dribbles around Toronto Raptors forward Tyler Hansbrough (50) in the fourth quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, we opened the discussion about potential free agents who could be on Toronto Raptors radar. We’ve discussed the “easy” cases of unrestricted ones.

Why “easy”? Because unrestricted free agents can discuss with any team and accept any offer they want. Unlike restricted ones, there is no “obligation” to accept their current team’s offer, if they match another team. Of course, this flexibility makes these players interesting to many teams during the free agency period.

Today let’s talk about the restricted free agents (RFAs) that the Raptors head office should not ignore.

Greg Monroe: I believe that he’s the best RFA that the Raptors have to look at. 15.2 ppg and 9.3 rpg this season, reflects his talent. Even if his stats are slightly worse than the previous season, he’s so talented, especially offensively, and strong inside the rim that can change Toronto Raptors strength. He also worked with another young hyped center (like Jonas Valanciunas), Andre Drummond, so he could find his time, as he did in Detroit, and help Jonas because he will raise the competition in this position. Of course, we are talking about RFA, and right now Detroit has the flexibility to offer him a better contract.

Gordon Hayward: Utah Jazz will regret not signing him to an extension. He may be not so strong for his size (6’8”), but his stats and shooting ability would help him to earn much money (16.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg). Utah Jazz has the financial flexibility to match, and the potential picks to create a much better team than the current one, but they didn’t extended his contract when they could do, so probably he’s not in their plans for next season. He’s a huge upgrade of Novak or Fields, if he could be acquired and he could raise the competition against Terrence Ross.

Eric Bledsoe: In the unlikely scenario of Kyle Lowry’s departure, Eric Bledsoe is his best substitute. His stats and performance showed that he left his knee problems behind, for good. (17.7 ppg, 5.5 apg, 4.7 rpg)…almost identical to Kyle’s (except the assists). He must be in Raptors radar.

Zach Randolph: I believe that he will search for his next team, probably a contender because he knows that his age doesn’t give him the opportunity of playing for many years to come. He’s back from his knee (ligaments) injury, which kept him out of the game for 54 games during the 2011-2012 season, and his stats are better than the previous (2012-2013) season. He’s a double – double machine, which can help as a PF, which is his natural position, but also as a C, due to his strength and body. I don’t believe he could get a salary similar to his current one, which is over $18 million, so Raptors may have an eye on him.

Something interesting about Bledsoe and Randolph, irrelevant to this post though. They were the 18th and 19th picks from OKC and Portland, respectively, which means that there may be “hidden gold” when the Toronto Raptors select the 20th pick this draft. We all hope for that.

Interesting cases are Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas, Nate Robinson (all PGs, so, in a case that Greivis Vasquez has a big offer from another team, Raptors may have the flexibility to keep their options open and match it or not) and Evan Turner  

There are the cases of Miami’s Big-3 (LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh) or Carmelo Anthony, but for different reasons, they cannot be considered as Toronto potential targets.

Tags: Featured Popular Toronto Raptors

  • Slap Dog Hoops

    I don’t think the Raptors will get any of those guys. personally, I think they should focus on resigning Lowry and Greivis Vasquez. Vasquez could possibly be one of the most important players Toronto should retain. His size gives him the versatility to play and guard all three perimeter positions. He can not only distribute the ball as a point, but can also break down defenses off the dribble and hit shots from the perimeter. In my eyes, he resembles a younger version of Manu Ginobli. The Raptors would be fools to let him go.

    • Konstantinos Charitopoulos

      Hi Slap Dog Hoops,
      as I said to the previous post, about the UFAs, our premier target is to resign Lowry. I agree with you that he must stay, otherwise things get tougher on the roster’s reconstruction for the forthcoming season.
      But keeping (mostly) Lowry and Vasquez isn’t enough to improve our team. This team needs changes to be better. Last season was a successful one, but also, a strange one, cause two of our Division rivals, Brooklyn and New York, didn’t achieved their targets as everybody was expecting, especially the Knicks, cause the Nets saved their season at the end (and they did hurt us too). We were lucky cause for example we didn’t have a proper substitute of Jonas, but we managed it during the regular season.
      So we must not stop improving. Next season would be tough.
      Thanks for your comments.

    • Dinos Charitopoulos

      Hi Slap Dog Hoops,
      as I said to the previous post, about the UFAs, our premier target is to resign Lowry. I agree with you that he must stay, otherwise things get tougher on the roster’s reconstruction for the forthcoming season.
      But keeping (mostly) Lowry and Vasquez isn’t enough to improve our team. This team needs changes to be better. Last season was a successful one, but also, a strange one, cause two of our Division rivals, Brooklyn and New York, didn’t achieved their targets as everybody was expecting, especially the Knicks, cause the Nets saved their season at the end (and they did hurt us too). We were lucky cause for example we didn’t have a proper substitute of Jonas, but we managed it during the regular season.
      So we must not stop improving. Next season would be tough.
      Thanks for your comments.

  • Trevor LeSueur

    If any of those guys were to be considered I think it’s Hayward. As said in the article he’s a huge upgrade over Novak and Fields. Coming from one of the worst teams in the NBA last season, he would have a smaller role if he came to Toronto or at least have to earn a starting spot over T-Ross but I think Terrence has an edge with his athleticism and defence. Nonetheless, Hayward would be a good addition as a role player with his shooting and IQ of the game. Since college, I’ve really only seen him play when they were up against the Raps but the only thing I might question is his ability to play D (I’m not sure how good it is).

    • Konstantinos Charitopoulos

      Hi Trevor,
      Gordon Hayward is a player that I would like to see in Raptors roster. He’s and intelligent and skilled -more offensively- player.
      He has problems with consistency and self confidence sometimes, but at his age, this is normal.
      About his defensive skills, I believe that he can improve, if he works, especially with defensive minded coaches (Mr Casey?)
      At least, he grabs rebounds. During the last season, we’ve witnessed that even Novak, who is bad defender, was very good during games at this end. We’ve witnessed defensive improvements over Ross and Salmons, so I have the hope that he will be improved too.
      From the veteran Novak, and the “veteran” Fields, who are only good offensive and defensive players respectively, he’s a major improve and a better overall “package”
      Thank you for your comment.

    • Dinos Charitopoulos

      Hi Trevor,
      Gordon Hayward is a player that I would like to see in Raptors roster. He’s and intelligent and skilled -more offensively- player.
      He has problems with consistency and self confidence sometimes, but at his age, this is normal.
      About his defensive skills, I believe that he can improve, if he works, especially with defensive minded coaches (Mr Casey?)
      At least, he grabs rebounds. During the last season, we’ve witnessed that even Novak, who is bad defender, was very good during games at this end. We’ve witnessed defensive improvements over Ross and Salmons, so I have the hope that he will be improved too.
      From the veteran Novak, and the “veteran” Fields, who are only good offensive and defensive players respectively, he’s a major improve and a better overall “package”
      Thank you for your comment.

  • Jensan

    Thabo Sefalosha, there is your defensive stopper coming off the bench. He wont cost that much, Thabo is 6 ft 7 and fills a specific need, and has starters experience at OKC.

    • Konstantinos Charitopoulos

      Hi Jensah,
      Thabo Sefolosha is a very interesting player, especially because he’s an unrestricted free agent. But I would be surprised if he signs with the Raptors. He will look for a title contender team, if he leaves OKC. This is my opinion
      Thank you for commenting.

    • Dinos Charitopoulos

      Hi Jensah,
      Thabo Sefolosha is a very interesting player, especially because he’s an unrestricted free agent. But I would be surprised if he signs with the Raptors. He will look for a title contender team, if he leaves OKC. This is my opinion
      Thank you for commenting.