The Toronto Raptors came away from the NBA Draft with a new backup center in Christian Koloko and a solid developmental prospect in Ron Harper Jr. on a two-way contract. The focus can now shift to free agency, as there are still some holes on the roster that need filling.
The Raptors don’t have as pressing of a need in the frontcourt after the Koloko signing, but Toronto could end up scouring the market for a veteran sharpshooting guard and a backup point guard that helps Fred VanVleet take a slight step back in terms of minutes per game.
Armed with the mid-level exception and two veterans in Chris Boucher and Thad Young who could come off the books if they leave, Toronto has a surprisingly large amount of cap space to fool around with. Toronto is in a very tough division, making the need for a solid offseason even more imperative.
These three players could come to Toronto on a mid-level exception, giving them some flexibility needed to chase multiple different free agents. One of these three coming to Toronto would constitute a seriously successful offseason for the Raptors irrespective of what else happens.
3 MLE targets the Toronto Raptors could target
3. TJ Warren, Indiana Pacers
Warren has played in just four games since his standout performance in the bubble, as all of the momentum he picked up was totally blunted due to his health. Even if Warren has slightly lost a step, he should be a reasonably solid bucket-getter off the Toronto bench as a Sixth Man.
In his last two seasons with Phoenix and his bubble season with Indiana, Warren averaged 19.3 points per game on 51/38/80 shooting splits. A standout finisher who has emerged as a quality 3-point shooter, Warren will be a somewhat trustworthy player even if injuries make him less explosive.
TJ Warren could come back with the Toronto Raptors.
Warren has made his mark as a solid interior scorer in the past, but Toronto shouldn’t necessarily expect him to replicate his results in that area if he is not 100% athletically. Warren is a bet on shooting and versatility off the bench, and Toronto could do worse in both spots than that.
The MLE would be enough money to entice Warren to come up north, yet it would be conservative enough for Masai Ujiri to work around that deal if he flames out. After years of plodding away with mediocre teams, Warren can contribute for a near-contender.