3 Free Agent forwards the Raptors can sign if key player walks away from the team

The Toronto Raptors may lose Sasha Vezenkov, leaving them perilously thin at forward. Which free agents could the Raptors sign to fill the hole at SF?
Haywood Highsmith, Miami Heat
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The Toronto Raptors currently have a full roster of 15 players, plus Javon Freeman-Liberty's non-guaranteed contract and a pair of two-way players. That means that their work in free agency is largely done, barring a Bruce Brown trade that opens up a roster spot.

The other potential way for a roster spot to open up is if the Raptors and Sasha Vezenkov work out a buyout agreement for the second-year forward to return to Europe and join Greek team Olympiakos. Toronto wants to keep Vezenkov, but he wants to leave, and one potential outcome for the standoff is that Vezenkov gives back most or all of his 2024-25 salary to walk away from the NBA.

In that circumstance the Raptors' forward depth goes from bad to worse. Vezenkov is the only pure small forward on the roster, with a collection of shooting guards likely to fill in most of the minutes at the position between RJ Barrett, Bruce Brown and Gradey Dick.

The Raptors would need to go out into free agency and look to fill that newly-opened spot with a forward. They would likely gain the financial flexibility to use either (or both) of the Mid-Level Exception and the Bi-Annual Exception, so they can shop the market broadly.

Who might they consider signing? Let's look at three options on the market and why each would come with positives and negatives.

No. 3: Cedi Osman

If the Raptors are simply looking for a player to plug in at the position, Cedi Osman is a reliable option. The 29-year-old Turkish forward is coming off a season with the San Antonio Spurs where he was one of their best offensive options, playing 72 games and shooting 38.9 percent from deep and 60.1 percent from 2-point range.

Osman is miscast as a ball-handler but his off-ball movement and cutting is refined, and his shooting stroke has improved over the last couple of seasons. Defensively he's good enough not to be a clear target, but barely, and he would likely need to be paired with Scottie Barnes or another strong defender in the frontcourt. For a player likely available at the minimum or just over it, however, Osman is a solid pickup.