The Toronto Raptors were faced with a tough decision to make with some of their free agents and who they would bring back and who they would let walk.
The Toronto Raptors entered free agency with three big free agents of their own that they needed to take care of. Fast forward into the free agency period they re-signed Fred VanVleet to a four-year deal and it left a lot of us wondering what they were going to do with their other two free agents.
Saturday night we got the news on Twitter that Serge Ibaka had signed a contract with the Los Angeles Clippers and last night Marc Gasol had left as well and signed a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Aron Baynes Signs With the Toronto Raptors
2019-20 stats – 42 GP – 11.5 PPG – 5.6 RPG – 1.6 APG – .480 FG% – .351 3P% – .747 FT%
If you are not aware already the Toronto Raptors have signed centre Aron Baynes to a two-year $14.3M contract last night carrying an average of $7.15M per year, per Shams Charania.
Obviously, Aron Baynes isn’t looked at as one of the best big men in the league, however, after losing both of your big men in free agency the Raptors still get a pretty good center option who is a defensive-minded player and just came off a career year on the offensive side of the basketball for a pretty reasonable price too.
Baynes who is 33 years old and will be 34 by the start of the next NBA season has been a pretty decent contributor for the teams he has played on within the last eight years when he has been called upon. He has never averaged more than 18 minutes a night until last season on the Phoenix Suns and he took every advantage of that as he had himself a career year and deserved every penny of this new contract with the Toronto Raptors.
Baynes who is more than likely going to get big starting minutes on this Raptors team next season unless something else happens and they acquire another centre, will be looked upon to spark some defence and also use some of the offensive talents he has gained throughout the last couple of seasons.
Losing both Ibaka and Gasol for nothing hurts, especially when both players are great defensively and pretty good at contributing on the offensive side too, however picking up Baynes in free agency is just as good.
The only thing that is different between Baynes and Ibaka is obviously the offence but with a Raptors team this talented with players like Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Kyle Lowry, etc, the offence shouldn’t be a primary for Baynes. (Stats from Basketball-Reference.com)
Chris Boucher Re-signs with Toronto Raptors
2019-20 stats – 62 GP – 6.6 PPG – 4.5 RPG – 0.4 APG – .472 FG% – .322 3P% – .784 FT%
On top of the Aron Baynes news, the Toronto Raptors have also re-signed Chris Boucher to a two-year $13.5M contract carrying an average of $6.75M per year, per Adrian Wojnarowski.
It really wasn’t a surprise that the Toronto Raptors and Chris Boucher came to terms and agreed on a contract extension as they extended a qualifying offer to him back on November 19th, so it was almost certain that they wanted to get a deal done with him.
Boucher who is 27 years old has never really been given a lot of NBA minutes throughout his career, yet when he has been given the playing time he has had some unreal games for the Raptors in recent memory.
With the recent departures of both Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, Chris Boucher is finally going to be seeing more of the NBA floor for the next two seasons and I think it’s going to be good for both the team and obviously the player as well.
Boucher who isn’t the biggest of players, to begin with, has the height to him and for a guy who is more on the skinny side than the built side, he brings aggression and isn’t afraid to drive to the net which is good after losing both Ibaka and Gasol who both provided a ton of that for the Raptors within the last couple of seasons.
Boucher just came off a career year averaging 6.6 PPG – 4.5 RPG – 0.4 APG while only averaging 13 minutes a night, now if you ask me that is pretty good for only averaging 13 minutes a night and coming off the bench as well. If Boucher sees anything close to 20 minutes a night next season you can almost bet he’ll come close to doubling almost every stat that he put up this past season and he’ll live up to that contract he just signed last night. (Stats from Basketball-Reference.com)
What do you think of the Toronto Raptors two recent signings of Aron Baynes and Chris Boucher? Do you like them or do you think the Raptors should’ve gone out and signed someone else to fill those positions via free agency or even through a trade?