5 Free agents Toronto Raptors should avoid at all costs this summer

Klay Thompson, James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson, James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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No. 2: James Wiseman

In decision-making terms, it is often hard to reset your priors.

When you think for a long time that a certain thing is true, it is hard to wipe the slate clean when presented with new evidence. That initial belief instead influences how you perceive and evaluate that new information, and often you end up interpreting that information in a very different way than someone coming into a situation without that initial belief.

It happens in sports all the time. Aging players are ranked more highly than their play deserves because of the memory of their past accomplishments; lowered efficiency is a slump rather than age-related regression.

This summer will be a major test case of teams and their priors when James Wiseman hits free agency. The seven-foot center came into the league as the No. 2 pick, is one of the most physically imposing players in the NBA with his combination of size, strength and athleticism, and checks a lot of boxes for NBA teams with his physical tools.

Wiseman's limited production on offense and his complete lack of development on defense would banish a less-heralded player to a minimum contract. Yet because Wiseman was the second overall pick, some team is going to hand him a much larger contract. That team will cling to their priors and not let go. The same thing has happened recently with Marvin Bagley III, and to a slightly different extent Deandre Ayton, two other large, highly-drafted centers whose production lags behind their paycheck.

The Toronto Raptors could use a developmental center, and it's not an insane proposition to sign a player like Wiseman to a minimum deal to see if there is untapped potential. Committing significant resources, however, would be in complete denial of what Wiseman has proven to this point: he is perhaps the league's worst defensive center despite his physical tools, and he will almost certainly never be a starting-level center in the NBA. Pay up for such a player at your own risk.