3 Raptors who have been outperforming their contracts in 2021-22

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 10: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 10: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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Yuta Watanabe, Toronto Raptors
TORONTO, ON – DECEMBER 10: Yuta Watanabe #18 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors might be near the luxury tax threshold, but they haven’t put all their eggs in one basket. Yes, Pascal Siakam is on a max contract, but players like Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby have been providing quality two-wat production without necessarily breaking the bank.

Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster are walking a very thin line. This team needs to avoid committing too much money to star players in order to let the young standouts like Scottie Barnes shine, but they also need to figure out how to build a deep roster that helps them contend for a playoff spot.

While there have been some bumps along the way, it looks like Toronto is still going to be able to put a quality product on the table most nights. Several players that aren’t necessarily getting max deals have already proven themselves to be major positive forces this season due to their skills on both ends of the floor.

These 3 Raptors players have proven to be fantastic contracts for Ujiri and the front office this season. They’ve provided excellent value for Nick Nurse through the first third of the season.

3 Toronto Raptors who are outplaying their contracts in 2021-22.

3. Yuta Watanabe ($1.7 million)

Watanabe might not be providing the gaudiest offensive production due to the fact he has made just 33% of his shots, and he is a member of the league’s worst bench unit. However, considering what Watanabe is being asked to do, he’s been the most consistent bench player on the roster since his return.

Watanabe has been tasked with using his solid 3-point shooting to knock down some bit triples while playing inside the paint on defense in smaller lineups. Considering that he was on a two-way contract 365 days ago, his growth in such a short period has been fun to watch.

Yuta Watanabe has been one of the best Toronto Raptors reserves.

Watanabe may have started the preseason as one of the many non-guaranteed contracts fighting to earn a roster spot, but there were very few possible futures in which Watanabe did not make the final roster. Even amid so much turmoil in Tampa, Watanabe’s energy on both ends shined.

While Watanabe may not be enough to lift the entire bench by himself, the Raptors have to be thrilled with the fact they developed yet another solid NBA player and are only tagged with a cap hit below $2 million. That’s called getting bang for your buck.