Toronto Raptors: Previewing the upcoming 2020 free agent class

Jaylen Brown vs Toronto Raptors (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Jaylen Brown vs Toronto Raptors (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Evan Fournier (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Wait, really?

Evan Fournier

Quick, how many years older is Evan Fournier than Chris Boucher, right now?

  • A) Three years
  • B) Two Years
  • C) One Year

If you answered D that they were actually the same age, you would be correct. Evan Fournier, despite having a rough hairline and playing in the NBA for what feels like a decade, is only 26-years-old. Highly productive, still in his prime, and a good fit on the Raptors roster, why doesn’t Fournier make sense?

Fournier would be a nice compliment to the Raptors defensive-focussed forwards, OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. He’s an effective three-point shooter, a capable secondary playmaker, and someone who can create his own offense.

He’s a poor defender. However, is there a major difference between Evan Fournier and the Buddy Hield, LeVert, and Bogdanovic group? They’re similarly aged, provided similar production, and have similar flaws on the defensive end. The biggest difference will probably be the $7-$10 difference in their upcoming contracts.

Otto Porter Jr.

With a $28.5 million player option for the 2020-2021 season, Otto Porter Jr. may not be a free agent next summer. In fact, if he opts out, Porter Jr. is unlikely to make $28.5 million for 2020-2021. So why would he take less money?

Because it’s not about earning the most money for next season, it’s about earning the most money over your entire NBA career. Think of Jonas Valanciunas opting out of his contract this offseason to receive a long-term deal from the Memphis Grizzlies.

If Porter Jr. is available in the loaded 2021 free-agent class, he’ll be a secondary or tertiary option. If he enters the 2020 class, he might be the class’ best non-restricted player.

Porter Jr. offers defense, efficient scoring, and three-point shooting. He’s someone who adds positive value to a team while taking very little off the table. He can seamlessly fit onto nearly every roster, and provide consistent production. The same goes for the Toronto Raptors.

Porter’s biggest criticism is he’s not a high-volume piece and perhaps not a difference-maker. However, in a weak class like 2020, he’s going to be paid like one.

If Toronto is able to sign or make a big-time trade for a difference-maker, perhaps signing Porter Jr. makes sense. But if they keep their current roster, he likely doesn’t do enough to push them over the top. Porter Jr. makes sense as a secondary move if the Raptors are able to make a big swing towards contention.

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Individually, the Raptors don’t have a great chance to sign any of these players. However, collectively they will almost certainly come away with one or two. After sitting free agency out this season, Toronto should be extremely active in the 2020 class.