The Toronto Raptors are perfectly positioned to make some noteworthy splashes in free agency this season. Masai Ujiri knows that this roster is imperfect as it is currently constructed, and he could look to the open market to beef up the back end of this squad following s successful 2021-22.
The Raptors aren’t going to be a place where marquee players come to sign, so Ujiri will need to chase role players that could plug a particular hole. Being proactive in going after these players might make Toronto more likely to check some of those boxes in the offseason.
As is the case with any offseason, there are some free agents that could be more attractive in the box score than the data or film would suggest. The Raptors don’t have a ton of cap space to work with, which will make it even more critical for Ujiri’s knack for talent acquisition to shine.
These three free agents could come back to hurt the Raptors, as they have some stats that could get them a reasonably substantial contract in the offseason. Toronto needs to spend that money elsewhere to avoid getting another Khem Birch-esque unsightly deal on the books.
3 fool’s gold free agents the Toronto Raptors shouldn’t sign
3. Jeremy Lamb, Sacramento Kings
Lamb is an infamous name in Canada thanks to his propensity for buzzer-beaters that take down the Raptors, but we were initially high on him as a trade target during his stint with the Pacers. Unfortunately, Lamb torpedoed his value when he was sent to Sacramento in the Tyrese Haliburton trade.
Lamb averaged just 7.9 points per game while barely making more than 40% of his shots and seeing his 3-point percentage dip. After showing that his down year in Indiana was not a fluke, Lamb is looking every bit of 30 years old. Would he be much of an improvement over Toronto’s current bench mob?
Jeremy Lamb might not be the best play for the Toronto Raptors.
Lamb’s 15.3 points per game season with Charlotte in 2018-19 feels like a decade ago, as it looks more like a standard contract year mirage. Lamb has never averaged more than 13 points per game in any other season, making a multi-year deal an enormous undertaking for him at this age.
The UConn alum will not be an impact defender, meaning that his sudden loss of efficiency is even more jarring and concerning. There are plenty of fine shooters on the free agent market that could be more worthy of a two or three-year deal than Lamb.