If you’ve been out of the loop, you’re at the right place for your Toronto Raptors free agency news.
The 2020 NBA free agency is upon us. It officially starts on November 20 at 6 pm Eastern time. The Toronto Raptors will have a lot of holes to fill this offseason, and what they do this offseason will clearly dictate what their intentions are for next year.
The Raptors only have 8 players signed through next season, and that is assuming they let Terence Davis walk. So the Raptors have many roster spots to fill out. Key players like Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka, and Marc Gasol, are all expected to test the market.
Although the expectation is that Ibaka and VanVleet will return, with Gasol expecting to play in the Spanish league. Nothing is set in stone yet.
Current roster and Cap Space
As previously mentioned, there are only 8 players on the books for next season and they currently take up roughly $86 million in cap space. Let’s address the players by position.
- Point Guard: Kyle Lowry
- Shooting Guard: Norman Powell, Matt Thomas,
- Small Forward: OG Anunoby, Patrick McCaw
- Power Forward: Pascal Siakam, Stanley Johnson (player option)
- Center: Dewan Hernandez
The Toronto Raptors, as you can see, have a lot of holes to fill. They are going to need a starting Center, a backup Point Guard, and some overall wing depth. Obviously, if Ibaka and VanVleet sign as expected, then that solves two of those problems.
Ibaka would potentially sign a one-year deal hovering around $20-23 million, while VanVleet could sign a four-year deal around $22-25 million.
This would leave the Raptors with limited flexibility if they both sign. Leaving the rest of the roster to be filled out with minimum salary guys. So, re-signing players like Chris Boucher and Paul Watson back. This would pretty much be a run back of the previous season, with the exception of Marc Gasol not being there.
Answering the what-ifs?
What if Serge Ibaka gets a better deal elsewhere? What if Fred VanVleet signs for an insane deal for a team with plenty of cap space? How do the Raptors fill out their roster? Well, if they do both indeed leave, which is an unlikely scenario (I believe there is a better chance one stays and one goes), then the Raptors would have to explore with other free agents.
It is not the best free agency class, but there are some names who can be of interest to the Raptors. And with the salary cap staying stagnant — due to the pandemic and Morey’s comments on Hong Kong earlier last year — this means many players will be eager to sign shorter-term deals now so they can sign better deals in the long-term.
This can be used to the Raptors advantage since they’re one of the teams with cap space. So players who are looking for a short-term deal might consider Toronto on a one-year balloon deal. Here is a potential list of players the Raptors could consider.
- To replace VanVleet: Justin Holiday, Evan Fournier, Jeff Teague, Goran Dragić.
- To replace Ibaka: Aron Baynes (would fit perfectly), Montrezl Harrell, Christian Wood, Tristan Thompson, Bobby Portis
No real big players, but some decent pieces that would at least fill the void for the 2020-2021 season. The Toronto Raptors nucleus of OG Anunoby, Kyle Lowry, and Pascal Siakam should be more than good enough to get them a top-six seed. No matter the players surrounding them are.
It’s all about the 2021 free agency for Toronto Raptors
We know their ambition is to leave cap space for the 2021 offseason. So being meticulous with their money this free agency is of utmost importance to set them for success for the next.
It is no secret the Raptors have their eyes set on Giannis Antetokounmpo. Masai has a good relationship with Giannis, and we’ve seen the formula of adding x superstar with the Toronto Raptors work before.
This season will serve as either a runback of last season or a semi-rebuild where players like OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam get to develop further. The Raptors title chances are slim unless Masai swings for the fences on a star this season– Oladipo?
So don’t expect any big names to sign with the Toronto (Tampa Bay) Raptors on November 20. The Raptors will do whatever it takes to keep their cap space flexible for next season.