This Toronto Raptors free agency period hasn’t been as positive as some fans would have liked. Not only did Kyle Lowry confirm that he will move on in favor of a gig down in South Beach, but come lingering uncertainty over their cap space as a result of their sign-and-trade agreement has the Raptors frozen in a state of complete limbo.
Many of the top free agents, including Raptors targets like Richaun Holmes, have ended up signing elsewhere, leaving Toronto with a roster that is still comparatively threadbare when compared to last year. The team still needs bench depth at shooting guard and some reinforcements at center.
The Raptors have plenty of time to salvage this offseason before it is officially condemned as a failure, and the front office should have their eyes on toolsy young players that can be a part of the bench for years to come.
These 3 free agents could fill roles at positions of weakness next year, supply the Raptors with a solid bench player for years to come, and arrive in Toronto without breaking the bank.
Toronto Raptors free agency: 3 young players worth chasing.
3. Hamidou Diallo
Diallo spent the early parts of his career in Oklahoma City, but he was traded to Detroit in the middle of last season. Diallo isn’t the best shooter right now, but his athletic ability and skill at rocking the rim with some thunderous dunks are not in question. He should be able to cash in based on his potential.
Diallo averaged 11.6 points per game last year, a sharp increase from what he averaged during his first two seasons. While he is expanding his offensive game, Toronto will get the most value out of him by utilizing him as a slasher that can get some easy shots near the rim, much like DeAndre’ Bembry.
Hamidou Diallo could be a valued bench player for the Raptors.
Diallo is not a great shooter, as he attempts just over one 3-pointer per game and makes just 29% of them. Still, the Raptors have proven they are willing to take on any number of reclamation projects with shooting issues, so that will likely not be a very big deterrent for them.
Diallo is a restricted free agent, and the Raptors being somewhat limited from a financial point of view means that Detroit is the favorite to end up with his services next year. That shouldn’t exclude the Raptors from trying to make a run at him, as he is a 3-point shot away from becoming quite a lethal offensive player.