3 Free Agency mistakes the Toronto Raptors must avoid making

The Toronto Raptors need to execute a strong offseason to continue their roster transition, and that means avoid this three blatant free agency mistakes.
Gary Trent Jr., Toronto Raptors
Gary Trent Jr., Toronto Raptors / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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No. 1: Chase big names in Free Agency

The Toronto Raptors can open up a fair amount of cap space this summer, especially if they decline Bruce Brown's team option. That could embolden them to target some of the big names in free agency, to "swing for the fences" with their cap space. From one angle, that's not a terrible idea; ultimately the Raptors need a Top-15 player to compete for a title, and ideally two of them.

Using their cap space this summer to do so is so unlikely as to border on the fantastical, however. They don't have enough cap space to chase a max-level free agent like Paul George on the market, so while that pipe dream is an exciting one it's not a realistic one. Perhaps they could clear enough space to make a run at OG Anunoby or James Harden, but Anunoby's market is likely to be too high and Harden would be a terrible fit in addition to being expensive.

There is another tier of players that is likely the most tempting for the Raptors and that they must avoid at all costs, and those are former stars who still have a little left in the tank but are almost certainly going to be overpaid based on name recognition.

Old friend DeMar DeRozan is one of those names, and while they could realistically carve out the cap space to sign him, it would be an extremely poor investment for a young team trying to build a long-term core; DeRozan will turn 35 years old before the start of next season, will demand touches and take them away from RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, and won't help them much at all in building their defensive identity.

Another similar name is Klay Thompson, who may be gettable on the free agency market and does bring the shooting that the Raptors need. He also brings an intense injury history, a lot of pride and an expensive price tag.

The Raptors need to find value on the free agency market; overpaying for big-name players is the exact opposite and will only cripple their books moving forward.