After a quiet trade deadline, the Toronto Raptors seek an alternate method to improve their roster. Here are the top buyout candidates they should pursue.
The Toronto Raptors shocked the world last year when they won their franchise NBA championship. Leading up to it, there were multiple roster moves that allowed Nick Nurse's squad to go the distance.
At the trade deadline, Toronto made a blockbuster deal to acquire center, Marc Gasol. Now, a year later, they were quiet at the trade deadline, not making a single transaction. There's no reason to panic about the inaction because there's still an opportunity to add reinforcements, via the buyout market.
Once players are bought out or waived by their team, they are then free to sign with another team. In 2018-19, the Raptors had their eyes on multiple targets but had trouble bringing in any of their preferred choices. They ended up landing Jeremy Lin after he negotiated a buyout with the Atlanta Hawks.
This year, things are different. The Raptors are defending champions and every player in the league is now aware of their high-quality brand of basketball. There's now a draw to play in Toronto that didn't exist a year ago. The hope now is to recruit a useful hand and there appears to be many who could become available once teams trim rosters in a few weeks' time.
There are many reasons why a player could be bought out or waived. Usually, it is done when a player is earning a massive salary in his final year of a deal. He and the team will negotiate how much it would cost the club to get out of paying the entirety of the contract.
The beneficiary of this action is the new team who then sign the player for the remainder of the regular season plus playoffs, often at the league minimum. For the Raptors, adding a cheap, new player is a low-risk move that could potentially have a significant payoff. This is why they hope to get lucky with this year's buyout crop.
Marvin Williams, of the Charlotte Hornets, is a player that keeps getting mentioned as somebody to watch out for in the buyout market. He is a good outside shooter who never fully achieved his potential. Having just negotiated his buyout, Williams is rumoured to be heading to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Besides Williams, who else figures to hit the buyout market and be an option for Toronto?