The only thing that Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri and General Manager Bobby Webster could do to save money is to trade Norman Powell.
Norman Powell averaged a career-high 16 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 1.3 APG last season. He also has a player option next year.
If he opts out, he becomes a free agent, and the Raptors will still have cap space to sign a top free agent. Keeping Powell might be a bit hard to do because his value might be more than the four-year $42 million contract that he got before.
Fortunately for the Raptors, they have his bird rights. So, they can still offer him a contract of over $42 million.
The Bird Rights allow teams to go over the cap and it does not affect their cap space. They also do not have to pay the luxury tax.
This only works for players who signed a contract for over four years. In order to keep Powell, they would need to sign a top free agent like Antetokounmpo first, then bring back Powell.
But, since there are some teams that might have interest in Powell, especially if his averages go up this season, could lure him away from Toronto by offering him a huge deal. If he signs with another team, they lose him for nothing.
So rather than losing him for nothing, they should trade Powell before the trade deadline for draft picks and/or a player who is on an expiring deal.
There is another scenario that the Raptors might have to face and that is that Powell might opt into the final year of his deal.
If he opts in, Toronto will lose around $ 10 million of their remaining cap space. They will only have about $ 23 million left to spend and that will most likely is not enough to sign Antetokounmpo or the other top stars who would be available in 2021.
So again, the Raptors would have to trade Powell to open more cap space in order to sign a top free agent.