Raptors News: Unending losses, Ben Simmons trade, gambling scandal, stars to sign

Jontay Porter, Toronto Raptors
Jontay Porter, Toronto Raptors / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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Free Agency Options

The Toronto Raptors will head into free agency this summer with a solid amount of cap space available to them. They could eschew the cap space route, bringing back Bruce Brown, re-signing Gary Trent and agreeing to a long-term contract with Immanuel Quickley, operating as an "over the cap" team.

They could also let Trent and Brown walk, move Chris Boucher to a team with cap space and leave Quickley's moderate cap hold on the books, maximizing their cap space to go out and chase a star. Superstars both don't change teams in free agency anymore and aren't likely available this summer, but there are some intriguing veteran options hitting the market this summer the team should think about.

We highlighted three such stars that would be excellent fits with the current Raptors core.

Ben Simmons Trade Grade

Ben Simmons was once one of the most electric young stars in the NBA. winning Rookie of the Year and bringing a combination of size, power and skill that looked a lot like a young LeBron James. If a player was ever going to succeed without a jumpshot it was Simmons, and he made three All-Star Games and one All-NBA team.

Then everything fell apart. Simmons was struck down by injury after injury, sandwiched around an inexplicable gaffe in the Eastern Conference playoffs stemming from a fear of being fouled in meaningful situations. Simmons' body has never recovered from the myriad of issues, and mentally he doesn't seem to have overcome his fear either. It's possible he never plays another NBA minute.

Why, then, would the Raptors be willing to accept him back in a trade? That's the question we asked in response to a high-profile trade proposal that was pitched involving Toronto, Atlanta and Brooklyn, where the Hawks landed Mikal Bridges, the Nets loaded up on draft picks and the Raptors took on Simmons' albatross of a contract. Read our analysis here and see how we graded the trade from Toronto's perspective.

What's Next?

It's a daunting 10 days ahead of the Raptors. They face the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks in their next five games; only the Sixers game seems winnable, and even that may be asking a lot of this depleted active roster.

The Knicks game is Wednesday evening at 7:30 PM at Scotiabank Arena, the second in a four-game homestand before they hit the road next week.