Raptors’ salary cap situation – are we in trouble next season?


The Raptors appear to have decided upon their core players, but can the team afford all of them?

The Toronto Raptors grabbed headlines twice recently with extensions of two players. First Jonas Valanciunas, then Terrence Ross were re-signed to multi-year deals which included big raises to commence in 2016-17. While JV’s extension was a relatively easy decision for GM Masai Ujiri, I suspect the deal for TRoss caused a lot of acrimony among the suits.

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Regardless, here we are, with significant financial commitments to a number of players. I want to consider where that leaves our team; in particular, what should be done about players who don’t have a contract for next season.

You’re welcome to view my source data here. When you do, you’ll note three players on expiring deals: Luis Scola, James Johnson and Anthony Bennett. (I’m not ignoring DeMar DeRozan; his situation is different. He has a player option which he will certainly decline. I’m hoping he’ll want to stick around, and I’ve allocated 20 million reasons for him to do so. Bismack Biyombo also has a player option, and he’s earned a raise to $4.5 million.)

Dec 20, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Bismack Biyombo (8) looks for a shot around Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins (15) at the Air Canada Centre. Sacramento defeated Toronto 104-94. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Luis Scola

I admit this fellow has grown on me. I had him pegged as a 10-minutes-a-game helper and positive locker room presence. With the failure of Patrick Patterson to seize the power forward slot, he’s stepped in and done an admirable job. But does he really have another year of high-level play in him? And how much is a 36-year-old veteran worth?

The Raptors need to be careful not to compete against themselves. I’d offer him a spike to $3.5 million on a one-year deal.

James Johnson

The man coach Dwane Casey loves to hate. I don’t hate him, but nobody on the Raptors other than TRoss makes me crazier than JJ. Anyway, he’s been ready to play when called upon.

Again, there may be no other suitors for JJ, so let’s not get silly. A two-year deal totalling $8 million is as far as I would go.

Anthony Bennett

He’s just been assigned to the 905 (as has Norman Powell), so he’ll finally be able to play a bunch of minutes. Barring a string of injuries to the big team, Anthony won’t get a chance to display his skills at the highest level to us or anyone else. Let’s assume he’s worth another year at $2 million, but I reserve the right to modify that amount in either direction or pull the deal entirely. For now, it’s a placeholder.

Next: Could Raptors become Warriors of the East?

First-round draft selections

You didn’t think I’d forget about these guys, did you? The Raptors have two in June, the New York/Denver one from the Bargnani trade, and their own. Masai could trade one or both of them; the picks may end up in the mid-teens, or one might be a lottery choice. Too many variables – let’s set aside $4 million and move on.


As you can see from the table below, the Raptors (actually me, on their behalf) have committed $107.8 million on a salary cap expected to be around $90 million. That doesn’t compute. Unless I’ve made a grievous error, we can’t retain our current roster, let alone add a juicy free agent.

We’re not close to being done with this topic.

If my assumptions are wrong, I want to hear about it from you. Please leave me a Comment.

DeMarre CarrollSmall Forward 14.2
Kyle LowryPoint Guard 12.0
DeMar DeRozanShooting Guard 20.0He may command more.
Cory JosephPoint Guard 7.3
Patrick PattersonPower Forward 6.0
Jonas ValanciunasCentre 14.4
Terrence RossSmall Forward 10.0
Luis Scola Power Forward 3.5Best guess.
Bismack BiyomboCentre 4.5I'm assuming he opts out, but we want him back.
James JohnsonSmall Forward 4.0Best guess.
Lucas NogueiraCentre 2.0
Bruno CabocloPower Forward 1.5
Delon WrightGuard 1.6
Anthony BennettPower Forward 2.0 If he shows us something.
Norman Powell Shooting Guard 0.8
Draft Picks?? 4.0Shot in the dark, but I suspect Masai will use the picks.