The Toronto Raptors have the misfortune of playing in arguably the best division in the NBA. The Atlantic Division is made up of championship contenders and some young teams that are laying the groundwork for eventually moving into that very exclusive, elite tier.
Not only are the Raptors and Knicks trying to show that they can eventually contend for a title, but the Celtics and 76ers are ready-made postseason heavyweights. The Nets could be the favorites to win the whole thing if they can get everyone in their lineup fully healthy next season.
Toronto won’t have an obscene amount of cash to splash in the offseason, but they will have enough to where they could make one or two signings that change the scope of the rotation. They might not have to look too far to identify some players that could jump right into Toronto’s short-term plans.
The Raptors should take a look at some of their rivals and try to sign any one of these three players. It might take some serious convincing for either of them to leave their current employer and come up north to Canada, but Toronto’s upward momentum might be enough to seal the deal.
3 Atlantic Division free agents the Toronto Raptors can sign.
3. Nic Claxton, Brooklyn Nets
Claxton has become a fan favorite in Brooklyn, as his ability to move around the floor and be a pest on the defensive end proved that the Nets got a steal with the No. 31 overall pick. Claxton could be in line for his first big contract, and the skinny big could cash in after his impressive 2021-22.
While not a creative scorer, the fact that Claxton set a new career-best mark in points and rebounds per game at age 23 is an encouraging sign. With the Nets likely to add some star-chasing veterans, signing Claxton could be easier than it is for the Raptors to sign most restricted free agents.
The Toronto Raptors could steal Nic Claxton from Brooklyn.
Claxton is versatile on defense, but he isn’t the best post defender at the moment due to his very wiry frame. Hee is still growing his offensive game, and the stigma surrounding his horrid performance in the postseason as a free-throw shooter underscores how far he has to go.
Claxton might need to put on ten more pounds, but there’s a ton Nick Nurse will like about him from an aesthetic and stylistic point of view. Claxton could compete with and push Precious Achiuwa, forming a super young, super talented young frontcourt of the future. He’ll cost a pretty penny, but his ceiling is sky-high.