Raptors Free Agency: Two sharpshooters linked to Toronto in latest talk

The Toronto Raptors will be looking for shooting this offseason, and a recent post links them to two sharpshooters they could pursue in free agency
Cam Thomas, Brooklyn Nets and Buddy Hield, Philadelphia 76ers
Cam Thomas, Brooklyn Nets and Buddy Hield, Philadelphia 76ers / G Fiume/GettyImages

The Toronto Raptors can realistically have as much as $27 million in cap space this summer if they don't retain Gary Trent Jr. or Bruce Brown. If they do pick up Brown's team option, they could pivot to staying over the cap and using the Full Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception.

Either way, they will have some money to work with this summer, and with Scottie Barnes' salary expected to take a massive step forward in 2025, this summer is likely their most flexible window to add talent and build around Barnes. Toronto could decide to tear things down the rest of the way and do a roster reset, but thus far it seems they are focused on flipping the roster around Barnes and then pushing to compete as early as next season.

If they are, they will be looking for help in free agency that can help them now. The biggest need on the roster is shooting; the Raptors were near the bottom of the league in 3-point attempts a year ago, and starting both Barnes and Jakob Poeltl means they need to have perimeter players will to put shots up.

free-agentThat's why they have been linked to every shooter on the free agency market this summer. In fact, Bleacher Report recently gave two free agent targets for each team, and both of their targets for Toronto were movement shooters.

Let's look at both players and see whether they would make sense for the Raptors this summer

The Toronto Raptors should consider signing Buddy Hield

The Philadelphia 76ers have big plans for their cap space this summer, and whether or not those plans come to fruition the time it takes to negotiate with the top players in free agency and consider trading for disgruntled stars opens up a window for other teams to step in and snatch up their free agent players.

That includes Buddy Hield, a high-volume 3-point shooter who would open up the court around Scottie Barnes and push their 3-point volume as a team up 10 spots all by himself. We've cited this stat a lot at Raptors Rapture this summer, but only Stephen Curry has more 3-pointers in the last five seasons than Hield, and it's close.

He is a defensive liability, but his shooting is so versatile and so lethal that he's worth a spot in a team's rotation. If the Raptors are going in the direction of a win-now veteran, a two or three-year deal for Hield makes a lot of sense.

The Toronto Raptors won't get a shot at Isaiah Joe

The "dream" free agent target provided for the Raptors was Isaiah Joe of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Interestingly enough he is also a former 76ers guard, one whom they waived as the "16th" man on their roster two seasons ago heading into the season. The Thunder scooped him up and immediately had a rotation shooter who has thrived in their system.

In two seasons with Oklahoma City the fourth-year guard has shot 41.2 percent on a robust 747 3-point attempts. That's essentially all that Joe does, but he does it extremely well. He's the epitome of a movement shooter. At just 24 years old he is a much younger target than the 31-year-old Hield, and given his pedigree he may be available for younger were he to hit the open market.

Alas, that won't be an option. Joe technically shows up on the list of potential free agents only because the Thunder haven't yet exercised his $2.1 million team option for next season. They certainly will, making him an incredible bargain and also completely off the market.

The Raptors should pursue shooting, so it makes sense to link them to shooters. Either of these players would be good additions to their offense if Toronto could add them on a fair contract.

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