The Toronto Raptors have a lot on their plate in the next few weeks and there might be some fans Raptors fan may not be a fan of.
The NBA is starting in exactly 44 days from today. In between now and then the Toronto Raptors will have a lot of things to take care of. The 2020 NBA Draft is November 18, free agency is shortly after that, then training camp begins December 1.
There will be a lot to look out for if you’re a Raptors fan and there might be some things Raptors won’t like to see even if it is the right thing to do. This brings us to our first point.
VanVleet and Ibaka sign for better deals elsewhere
Both of these players, Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka, have already expressed their desire to stay in Toronto. They love the city and the team, but Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster must shy away from overpaying players. It’s hard enough to build a winning franchise, and overpaying players certainly doesn’t make it easier — look at the Philadelphia 76ers.
The most likely scenario to happen, as Zach Lowe said in his piece:
"“They can re-sign Fred VanVleet to a fair contract, keep Serge Ibaka on a one-year balloon deal, and have plenty of space next offseason depending on OG Anunoby (extension eligible) and how Norman Powell approaches his $11.6 million player option.”"
But what if Serge Ibaka wants more long-term security? Or what if a team is desperate enough to overpay for VanVleet? These are options the players do have and how can we blame them if they decide to do what’s best for themselves.
The Toronto Raptors have made it clear that they’d do everything it takes to attract Giannis in the 2021 free agency. Raptors will certainly be unhappy if both VanVleet and Ibaka walk for nothing next month.
However, more likely than not, what Zach Lowe said is probably the most realistic outcome. With the cap staying the same due to the pandemic and many teams not having much cap space anyway. I feel comfortable the Raptors will do the right thing by signing Ibaka to a one year deal. But if teams are throwing the bag at VanVleet and I’m Bobby Webster. I’d be reluctant to match the offer and let him walk. Overpaying for a player who is replaceable isn’t the answer.