Toronto Raptors: Three young free-agent targets

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The Toronto Raptors still have two roster spots remaining for next season. Who are some young, high-upside players Toronto should target on minimum deals?

The Toronto Raptors rotation is already full. Currently, the Raptors have 10 players who will expect playing time next season, 11 if you count Norman Powell.

It’s expected by many that Toronto will fill out their roster with a couple of centers. It makes sense, currently the only “true” center on the Raptors roster is Jonas Valanciunas.

But the market is flooded with centers and if Toronto wants to really take a home-run swing it will focus on the most coveted positions in today’s game, guards and wings.

With an already full rotation, it’s easy to think that the final roster spots are inconsequential. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Every roster spot is an opportunity to evaluate talent, particularly young players. And history has shown, young players on minimum contracts, can develop into real difference makers.

Two prominent examples in the league today are, Spencer Dinwiddie and Jonathon Simmons.

A second round draft pick, Dinwiddie played for two-and-a-half seasons before being signed by the Brooklyn Nets. With one of their last roster spots, Brooklyn offered Dinwiddie a three-year minimum contract, with partial guarantees in years two and three.

Since being signed by the Nets, Dinwiddie has averaged more than 10 points and five assists per game, making him one of the best contracts in the entire NBA.

Perhaps the best developmental team in the league, the San Antonio Spurs, offered Jonathon Simmons a minimum contract after an impressive 2016 Summer League performance.

The contract turned out to be an absolute home-run. Simmons played a critical part in the Spurs’ 2017 postseason run, despite making less than $875,000.

Will any of these players make quite as big of an impact? Doubtful. Still, with little playing time available and very few needs, the Raptors have the opportunity to take a swing on some young talented players.

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