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.