5 Moves the Toronto Raptors should make but probably won't

Kelly Olynyk, Jakob Poeltl, Toronto Raptors
Kelly Olynyk, Jakob Poeltl, Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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No. 4: Take on bad money

Part of the charm of the NBA offseason is dreaming of how a team can use its cap space. Fans can imagine any number of players signing with their favorite team if the cap space is there. It's a blank canvas, and the imagination can paint any number of masterpieces onto their team.

The more bland reality is that the Raptors don't have enough space to truly pursue a star, and none were likely going to sign with Toronto anyway. That doesn't mean that the Raptors cannot use that space to pursue helpful free agents, and it's very likely that they will pursue players who can fit around Scottie Barnes and Immanuel Quickley and make the 2024-25 Raptors better.

The recommendation here is that, instead of worrying about improving next year's team, the Raptors instead look for opportunities to use their cap space to take on money that other teams don't want. Perhaps that's an unbalanced trade where Toronto "buys low" on a player to clear space off another's books. Perhaps it's as the third or fourth team in a deal, taking back a smaller salary none of the teams want in exchange for an asset; the San Antonio Spurs did this last summer and stockpiled a number of draft picks.

Cap space can be used in free agency, but it can also be a powerful tool on the trade market, and not a lot of teams with cap space appear likely to be using that space to help other teams accomplish their business. That opens up an opportunity for the Raptors, and if they are willing to be patient heading into next season, it could increase their draft capital in the future as they look to continue building up the team down the line.