Mar 30, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) celebrates with forward Steve Novak (16) against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. The Raptors won 98-93. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

From sedentary to frantic - Masai Ujiri re-builds Raptors roster


Dec 28, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Lou Williams (3) in action against the Charlotte Bobcats during the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Your Scribe has been hard-pressed to keep up with the astonishing number of changes GM Masai Ujiri has recently rendered to the Toronto Raptors roster. I need to list them all:

  • draft Bruno Caboclo #20
  • draft DeAndre Daniels #37
  • trade John Salmons to Atlanta for Lou Williams and the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira 
  • trade Steve Novak (and a pick) to Utah for a player to be waived later

That’s a lot of player turnover in a very short period of time. But not all the names have changed. We are informed of agreements in principle with free agents Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez, all of whom were critical performers in last season’s remarkable success and are welcomed back with open arms.

I’m not bothering to update my salary spreadsheet any more, as there’s little purpose until July 10. That’s the date the NBA’s equivalent of the Gnomes of Zurich make public their calculation of the league’s salary cap (and apron, and luxury tax threshold, yadda yadda). At that moment, we’ll be compelled to read all the press releases which list salary details for each re-signed player, then update our spreadsheet. Finally, we’ll be able to make some educated guesses as to who’s likely to go, and who will stay, as the Raps can’t keep everyone.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, as the turmoil might not be over for the Raptors . I tend to over-estimate the savvy of NBA GMs, or perhaps they can’t say “No” to pushy, impatient owners. Teams which seem to fancy the idea of a fast re-build, and are on the radar of bright, shiny free agents like Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James, might still want to deal for cap space. Masai may still have deals pending before July 10 in which the ending contracts of Chuck Hayes and Landry Fields could be dispensed with.

Toronto, thanks to our GM, is going to look like an oasis of sanity compared with the majority of squads, including (or in particular) those in glamour cities.

Tags: Masai Ujiri Toronto Raptors

  • Slap Dog Hoops

    Glad to see the Raptors resigning Patterson at such an affordable price. Wasn’t so sure that they were able to keep him after having such a good season. Now it remains to be seen whether or not they can retain Greivis because there has been plenty of buzz about him and he has the potential to be another Manu Ginobli.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi SDH:
      Yes, I think Patterson’s contract is reasonable. Now that Novak is gone, 2Pat needs to step to the role of “stretch-4″. He is of course capable of much more than just shooting, which is why he’s staying and Novak is not.
      I think Greivis will stay. Williams may be moving on, as I don’t think he’s as emotionally committed (in fairness, how could he be?) to being a Rap as GV. Masai really wants players who want to be here. Bucyks and Stone need to update their resumes.
      Thanks for stopping in.

      • Slap Dog Hoops

        PPat already stepped in that role of stretch four making Novak expendable. He even makes Amir somewhat expendable. That’s why I think they should try and package Amir’s contract along with the expiring one of Landry Field in an attempt to sign and trade for Pau Gasol. Both Landry’s and Amir’s contracts can be easily written off giving the lakers even more cap space for next season. As for the Raptors, they will get a perrenial All Star veteran with 2 NBA Championship rings to his credit. What you think about a deal like that, Bry?

        • Newmarket_Brian

          Hi SDH:
          You’ve got my attention. I’ll play with the idea, and try it out on the Trade Machine.
          I appreciate you bringing it forward – I’ve always like Gasol.

  • Jensan

    GV will sign 3/13, trade a TPE for Matt Barnes and than sign Jordan Hill, say Good bye to decolo

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Jensan:
      Matt Barnes?? Really?
      I like Jordan Hill, but I’m not ready to say farewell to De Colo.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Harun Said

    I hope Masai give Dwayne Casey some veteran leadership at the wing, perhaps P.J Tucker or Shawn Marion both would fit in Dwayne’s defensive minded system.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Harun:
      Both former Raptors. I wish Colangelo hadn’t given up on Tucker so soon. Marion may not have much left in the tank.
      I agree about adding a veteran, and plan to write a post on the matter.
      Thanks for commenting.

      • Slap Dog Hoops

        Trading Landry and Amir for Pau Gasol in a sign and trade deal would be an idea. What do you think? I( think the Lakers will accept it because 12$ million will get cleared off their cap. Pau will like it because that means he will be able to get one last big payday a la Tim Duncan and he is certainly worth the price–let’s say two years at 22$ million. And of course, the raptors will get bolstered with an All star big man to serve as a mentor to JV an be the missing piece for the Raptors to reach that next level.