Toronto Raptors: Ranking Team Assets Prior to the 2019 NBA Offseason

Toronto Raptors - OG Anunoby (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - OG Anunoby (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – OG Anunoby (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Heading into an offseason mired by uncertainty regarding this team’s future, we took the time to rank all of the Toronto Raptors’ assets — from players to picks and foreign player rights — heading into the 2019-2020 NBA season.

Who are the most valuable assets for the Toronto Raptors? Who are the least?

Naturally, gathering and compiling assets is crucial to building the future of a team. All kinds of assets — from NBA players to future draft picks and foreign player rights — can impact a team’s success in their own unique way.

As we have seen over the years, for instance, veteran players on expiring contracts have proven to be key assets on many teams eyeing late-season pushes towards the postseason. The roles that Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Bellineli played on the Philadephia 76ers during the 2017-18 NBA season are great examples of the value that could exist in this type of player.

Similarly, future draft picks can be integral to a team’s future success in many of the same ways. The most prevalent example of this in recent history might be found in a 2011 trade between the Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers. In an effort to unload the contract of Baron Davis, the Clippers sent Davis and an unprotected first-round pick in that year’s draft to the Cavaliers for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon.

That unprotected first-round pick helped the Cavaliers win the NBA Draft Lottery and select Kyrie Irving that season. Although this goes without saying, this future draft pick transaction changed the entire course of Cleveland’s franchise and led them to a championship in 2016.

Evidently, all different types of assets can be extremely valuable to a team’s future. That said, the criteria surrounding what determines a particular asset’s value for a team is largely dependent on the type of asset under review. With players, the most valuable assets will depend on the team in question.

For immediate “contenders”, the most valuable player assets are typically veteran players on short-term contracts. This provides the team with a productive player who they are not committed to but is still capable of making an impact. With “non-contenders”, young players on long and cheap deals likely provide the most value.

Finally, future draft picks are nearly always more valuable as first-round picks than second-rounders but the original owner of the pick is also a key determinant of its value.

Along those lines, this piece will dive into the assets owned by Canada’s only NBA team and accordingly rank these assets from worst to best heading into this offseason.

Let’s get started…

Key Notes:

*Marc Gasol, who we believe is likely to accept his $25.59 million player option this offseason, will be included in this ranking.

*Players not under team control going into next season — Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Patrick McCaw, Jeremy Lin, Jodie Meeks, Eric Moreland & Jordan Loyd — have been excluded from these rankings as they cannot be considered assets due to the absence of team control.

*For clarity, the Toronto Raptors do not currently have any foreign player rights, according to Basketball Reference’s Draft Rights page.