The Toronto Raptors have already done most of the heavy lifting when it comes to building their squad into a viable playoff team, but Masai Ujiri might need one or two more big-name free agent signings to fill in the cracks on the roster. Milwaukee Bucks guard Pat Connaughton could be Ujiri’s perfect veteran bench addition.
After working his tail off to even make it to the NBA, Connaughton slipped a ring on his finger in 2021 as a critical bench shooter in Milwaukee. After settling in as an essential role player for the last half-decade, the time has come for Connaughton to cash in and earn a multi-year contract.
Connaughton has a player option worth $5.7 million, but he could receive much more than that on the open market if he pushes his luck. Connaughton is still a quality shooter who can attack the basket, which is exactly what Toronto lacked from their bench last year.
Toronto has some cap space to play with, but not enough to where they will be in on some of the big names in the sport. Connaughton might end up getting close to eight figures per year, but the Raptors should still be very much in play for him on the open market.
The Toronto Raptors could sign Pat Connaughton.
Connaughton averaged a career-high 9.9 points per game last year while connecting on 46% of his shots overall and 39% of his 3-pointers despite six attempts per game. Connaughton made the most of an uptick in playing time that came about as a result of injuries, as his value has rocketed upward.
Connaughton would be valuable enough as a sniper, but he is a premium athlete who would put even an athletically-gifted Raptors team to shame. A star baseball player and dunk contest participant, Connaughton could be the uber-athletic swingman that Svi Mykhailiuk tried and failed to be.
Their desire to pay Thad Young and ensure that extensions with some of their stars get taken care of could be enough to price them out of a potential Connaughton deal. Connaughton isn’t worth overpaying to the point of lunacy, but Toronto should have enough wiggle room to compensate him fairly.
Connaughton might not fit in perfectly with Toronto’s organizational emphasis on length, but he’ll be the bench sparkplug this team has been crying out for. He’ll get competitive offers from other contenders, so Toronto needs to be very proactive in signing him.