The official start date for Free Agency is November 20, and the Toronto Raptors will have a lot to think about at the Center position.
The questions keep accumulating for the Toronto Raptors when talking about who will be their Center/s next season. Serge Ibaka will be looking for a lucrative deal, and Marc Gasol is most likely to finish his career where it all started, FC Barcelona. So adding on to the pile: Who will be their Center next season?
Well, what is most expected from the league is that Serge Ibaka will sign a big one-year deal with the Toronto Raptors. But if this fails to happen, then one name on the market that may be of interest to the Raptors is Aron Baynes.
Following a career year with the Suns, Aron Baynes is going to be looking for a new home for the 2020-2021 season. Baynes will possibly do what most free-agents are doing this offseason, which is to sign a one-year deal this offseason. This is due to the financial losses the NBA has suffered from the pandemic and the Hong Kong controversy.
This can make the Raptors prime candidates to pick up the New Zealand native on a one-year deal. But why exactly should the Raptors consider him?
Aron Baynes can stretch the floor as Marc Gasol did
The Toronto Raptors are among the teams who shoot the most threes. The acquisition of Marc Gasol has helped them tremendously in ranking that high. Gasol was a willing shooter and stretched the floor so the team’s star, Siakam, can operate at will on offense.
Baynes shot the three at a 35 percent clip last season with most looks being wide-open shots. It may not be as good as Gasol who shot the three at 38.5 percent, but it is still a respectable number. If Baynes can get that to 36 percent, it’d be a huge win for the Raptors if he’s here.
Baynes would fit right in, replacing somewhat Gasol did on offense. Obviously, Baynes wouldn’t offer the same versatility on offense as Gasol. Gasol’s playmaking off the post was a huge part of his game and something the Raptors will miss tremendously.
But like Gasol, Baynes will be doing all the little things that are not as noticeable. This includes being used as a screener, being a pick and pop threat, making the extra passes, and cutting to the rim — Gasol didn’t do that one too much.
Having a Center who can shoot threes will also help Nick Nurse keep a similar system to what he has now, which is centered around facilitating the game for Pascal Siakam.