We have all heard the Giannis to Toronto Raptors, but we also all know the importance of the Raptors offseason with many players set to be free agents. So how do they approach this offseason while keeping Giannis in mind for the 2021 season?
The Toronto Raptors will be left with a lot of tough decisions after the season’s end. With Giannis to Toronto rumors transpiring as his contract is set to expire in 2021. It’ll be of utmost importance for the Raptors to be meticulous this offseason if they plan on signing Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Therefore, here is the list of key players who are set to be free agents and awaiting new contracts this offseason: Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Fred VanVleet. It is also worth noting that OG Anunoby will be eligible for a contract extension with his rookie contract expiring in the 2020-2021 season.
There are obviously the other players that are up for free agency as well, but those are minimum deal guys who don’t really impose a problem here. So let’s see who the Raptors should prioritize and how they work around leaving enough cap space for Giannis.
Ibaka having such a great season likely means he won’t be re-signing with the Raptors. Well, that is if they are keeping Giannis in mind like we think they are. Ibaka is coming off one of his best seasons in a long time and will be looking for a lucrative deal this offseason.
He has shown a strong desire to want to stay but it just isn’t possible for the Toronto Raptors to give him the deal he wants and deserves. He most likely leaves or signs a lucrative one year deal which I doubt he goes for since it can be his last big pay day.
Estimation: (1 year/$23 million) or let go
Gasol has looked like he has aged by a million years in the bubble. He is still a very effective player nonetheless and the plus/minus numbers display that. This is a player the Raptors should try to re-sign even if he turns out as a backup. He may not be the defender he once was but he is still good and does what is he asked of.
A stretch five who can occasionally be a secondary playmaker if needed. I’m sure the Raptors can find a cheap two year deal with Gasol and by the time Giannis is here, surely he’ll be the backup.
Estimation: (2 years/$10 million)
VanVleet looks like the key piece who will be replacing Lowry as the team’s future primary point guard and potentially the point guard paired with Giannis if he remains. This is probably the most important piece for the Raptors to sign. At the age of 26 years old, the Raptors will be set to get prime VanVleet for a long time.
He is the perfect point guard for today’s NBA, taking 45 and 38 percent of his shots from three and at the rim, respectively. VanVleet is also a very good defender for someone his size and has the strength and speed to hold anyone down. Essentially for Giannis, he is a way better version of Bledsoe on offense and we know how much Bledsoe struggles on that end, especially in the playoffs.
The only question is, how much do you actually pay for VanVleet for it to not to be an overpayment. Teams have around the league have already expressed their interest in signing him and point guards like VanVleet are a commodity. The overall feel on how much he is actually worth is around the $20-23 million mark. Anything that is 25 and over feels like an overpay, and it is hard to build a winning team when you overpay players — just look at Philly who is in the dumpster fire.
Estimation:(4 year/$90 million)
Anunoby is a player that every team dreams of having. He is the perfect 3-and-D wing and has shown improvements every year on the offensive end ever since joining the league. The best part isn’t even his defense, we know just how good he is at that end already. What’s more impressive is that he just turned 23 years old. He is still so young yet it feels as though he is a veteran with the maturity he plays with.
A player of Anunoby’s value is interesting considering how highly teams want a given player. Here is a list of good 3-and-D players around the league for reference.
- Danny Green: 2 years/$30 million
- Robert Covington: 4 years/$46.88 million
- Trevor Ariza: 2 years/$25 million
So the range here is $11.72 to $15 million per year. With Anunoby only being 23 and improving every year, a deal in the $13-15 million range is the most probable contract he will receive from the Raptors. Every team needs a 3-and-D wing in today’s NBA to win a championship, we all know the Raptors had one with Danny Green last season and we’ve seen how important a piece he was.
So signing OG this summer will be important, especially since he can increase his value even more after next season.
Estimation:(4 year/$60 million)
So what does the Toronto Raptors future hold assuming these are the contracts?
So if we assume the Toronto Raptors sign all these guys through those estimated contracts and we assume Kyle Lowry — who will be 36 by the 2021-2022 season — is either traded or signed to a $10 million deal by the 2021-2022 season. Then the Raptors salary cap with Gasol, Siakam, Anunoby, VanVleet, Lowry, and Powell with their current and estimated contracts written here would be around $95 million.
The Toronto Raptors would be over the estimated active cap of $125 million but under the luxury tax if they do indeed sign Giannis to the max. It is worth mentioning that the Raptors hold the bird rights to Lowry, Gasol, and VanVleet. Which means that they can sign those guys over their active cap.
Let’s just understand this whole article is based on assumptions and none of the things that were mentioned may happen just like they can happen. It’s just what is most likely to happen but who knows, Masai can just pull the reset button and decide to tank for a season. Maybe Giannis doesn’t even want to come here in the first place.
In the end, we know Masai wants Giannis at all costs and he’ll stop at nothing to get him and if Giannis is really about winning, then joining the Toronto Raptors is the best move for him.