1 Dream, 1 reach, 1 realistic free agent for Raptors to target

The Toronto Raptors will head into the summer with plenty of options in free agency. What is the best-cast move they could make, and what might actually happen?
Jalen Brunson, OG Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks
Jalen Brunson, OG Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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Reach Free Agent: Isaiah Hartenstein

It may seem like the Raptors are just trying to steal the Knicks' lunch money, and as satisfying as it would be to specifically sign a player away from James Dolan and the Knicks, it just so happens that they have a pair of highly desirable free agents.

Isaiah Hartenstein had a breakout season for the Knicks this year, elevating into the starting lineup after Mitchell Robinson went down to injury and never relinquishing it. He is an exceptional interior defender with the agility to guard in space, he is a strong finisher at the rim, and he is a savvy passer who can handle the ball at the elbow and in the short roll to make plays for teammates.

In short, he's a better version of Jakob Poeltl, with better touch and better passing chops. We outlined a trade over the weekend that would move Poeltl in a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, and in such a scenario, replacing Poeltl's salary slot with a better player at the same number is a coup de grace move.

The Knicks are over the salary cap (likely over the luxury tax apron) and only have "Early Bird Rights" on his contract, which limits them to signing him to a four-year, $72.5 million contract. The Raptors could step in and beat that, offering Hartenstein $20 million over four seasons.

He would step in and start alongside Scottie Barnes in the frontcourt, and while ideally, they would find a way to pair Barnes with a shooting big, having one as skilled as Hartenstein on offense and with similar defensive ability as Poeltl would be an extremely strong move.