Ranking 9 Toronto Raptors contracts from bargain to nightmare

Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl and Immanuel Quickley, Toronto Raptors
Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl and Immanuel Quickley, Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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The Toronto Raptors are heading toward an important offseason as their entire roster goes through a period of transition. They finally took the painful steps to move on from key veterans this year, trading Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby and Dennis Schroder, getting younger and looking to the future.

That process could continue this summer, whether through trading more veteran players, drafting new talent or signing young players. As they move forward, financial flexibility will be important, both in free agency and in managing the total cost of the team once they are good again. The contracts that players are on, therefore, matter just as much as if the Raptors were a contender this season.

Let's go through the entire roster and rank the contract from best to worst, or from "bargain" to "nightmare" if you will. We are excluding minimum deals from this exercise, and likewise not ranking pure expiring deals. That means Immanuel Quickley, Gary Trent Jr. and Jordan Nwora are not on the list.

We are including a player's current season as a small part of the calculus, but largely looking ahead to the future years. Which player is on the best deal? Which player has the most damaging? Let's take a look!

No. 9: Scottie Barnes is on a bargain contract

We'll start with the most obvious selection on this list, and that is the reality that Scottie Barnes is on a bargain of a contract. After he was selected fourth overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, Barnes' rookie-scale deal checked in at four years, $33 million, which was an average of $8.27 per season. Next year he will play out the final year of the deal at $10.13 million.

Whenever a team can get star-level production out of a player on a rookie contract it is one of the best bargains in basketball. Barnes was named an All-Star in his third season, leading the team in scoring and overall impact as unquestionably their best player while making a relative pittance.

This summer Barnes will be eligible for a contract extension, and the expectation is that he will sign a maximum rookie extension, worth upwards of $225 million depending on where the salary cap is set. What's more, he could negotiate "Rose Rule" triggers into the deal that could raise the total value to $268 million if he makes All-NBA next season, which is certainly in view.

If Barnes makes an All-NBA team next season he is likely worth that full amount, but the Raptors would probably prefer he just barely miss out and continues developing while also leaving some extra salary cap space. Either way, Barnes is an incredible bargain for one more season before becoming more properly paid.