Should the Raptors cut a player and add a buyout candidate?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 21: Head Coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 21: Head Coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are moving closer to contending after being a win-now buyer at the trade deadline. The Jakob Poeltl move appears to have paid dividends, even if the team’s biggest offensive issue remains unaddressed by the reacquisition of the Austrian big man.

The Raptors remain a subpar team when it comes to shooting and playmaking on the perimeter. The Otto Porter Jr. injury sapped what little offseason reinforcements they brought in to correct that issue, and the Raptors have been trying to swim upstream ever since.

The Raptors were not very active buyout market members in the early stages, keeping up with their self-made trend of very rarely throwing their hat in that proverbial ring. However, Masai Ujiri may need to look at this market with a greater degree of interest if he wants to make it to the postseason.

The big issue with that is the fact that Toronto does not have an open roster spot right now. While Toronto is very dangerously tiptoeing around the luxury tax, they might need to get closer to it if they want to build the best roster possible and make noise in the playoffs.

Will the Toronto Raptors cut a player?

The two most likely candidates, given their rotation status, would be Juancho Hernangomez or Dalano Banton. However, considering that the Spurs did not acquire Banton at the trade deadline despite reported interest, it seems like Toronto decided to hold onto the young guard.

Hernangomez went from a semi-regular starter to someone that is unable to even stay on the floor. Scoring 3.0 points per game is bad enough, but the icing on this unappetizing cake is Hernangomez making slightly under 26% of his 3-point attempts. Mind you, his shooting was supposed to be the standout trait Toronto signed him for.

The Raptors did sign Joe Wieskamp to a multi-year contract, but he is unlikely to command many minutes. There are plenty of shooters out there that can be impact players for this Raptors roster, even though they missed out on former Raps like Danny Green and Terrence Ross.

The Raptors could upset the proverbial apple cart if they make this move, and they could throw their traditional methods of roster building out the window in one fell swoop. If they decide to let it ride, Ujiri may look back at this moment in time and regret his lack of aggression.

Next. 2023 NBA Mock Draft 2.0. dark