2022 NBA Offseason Preview: Toronto Raptors

After winning his first title in franchise history three years ago, he became wild birds Lost Kohi Leonard And the Danny Green in 2019, Serge Ibaka And the Mark Gasol In 2020 and Kyle Lowry in 2021. Somehow, with the exception of the extraordinary 2020/21 season spent in Tampa, more than 1,000 miles from their home city, the Raptors continue to win, defying expectations at 21/22 by becoming among the top five in the East.

Quick Appearance of the Ultimate Beginner of the Year Scotty Barnes (Toronto Awards for his dismal 20/21 season in Florida) She played a big role in the comeback of the raps last year. The front office was questioned for his selection of Barnes as fourth in last year’s draft Galen Suggs, who was widely considered one of the top four players in the class. But Barnes’ first-year performance as a two-way weapon proved the controversial decision made by the Chief of Basketball Operations Maasai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster.

Remaining Team Title 2019 – Fred VanfleetAnd the Pascal SiakamAnd the OG AnunobyAnd the Chris Boucher He played important roles in Toronto’s success as well. VanVleet built the All-Star Team, Siakam earned All-NBA status, and Anunoby created a new career level with 17.4 points per game.

The birds of prey had a hard time slowing down Joel Embiid The Sixers in the first round of the playoffs and eventually fell in six games. But given that Toronto was only seen as a frontier playing team entering training camp, the year qualified as a huge success even without winning the playoff series.


Raptors off-season plan:

With VanVleet, Siakam, Anunoby and Barnes, Gary Trent Jr.the emergence of a large man Precious Ichiwa All under contract for next season, the Raptors likely won’t make any major changes to their roster. It seems safe to assume that a number of these players – notably Anonobi, Barnes and Uchiwa – haven’t yet reached their limit, so Toronto can bet on internal optimization and continue to assess the long-term compatibility of the game’s core.

Of course, the fact that all of these players work on reasonable contracts would make any of them valuable trading chips. And the Raptors would likely be interested in moving one of its three beginnings forward to gain a position of influence, although I think that possibility is probably overstated.

Toronto had a successful 2021/22 season with a diverse group of long-range defenders who demonstrated the ability to transform into almost any offensive player and hold their own. Add a traditional center – like Rudy Gobert – This combination will change the way the Raptors play in defense and eliminate one of the team’s strengths – and it will come at a significant commercial cost.

The Raptors will also have to be careful about bringing in a center that doesn’t have the power to lay the ground. Siakam and Barnes will shoot at least three three-pointers per game to keep defenses honest, but they’re hardly elite outside shooters. Using Anunoby – whose name has appeared in trade rumors – as the cornerstone of a trade for a non-shooter position would create some serious divergence issues.

Ojiri has shown in the past that he doesn’t hesitate to pull the trigger at the right trade opportunity, having completed major deals for players like Gasol, Ibaka and – of course – Leonard. But the Raptors are way ahead of schedule in their retooling and they wouldn’t be desperate to change this list for it. If they make an important deal, it will be because it is too good to miss.

If the Raptors keep their core the same, informal team decisions will revolve around free agent signatures and the possibility of contract extensions.

Two members of the Raptors rotation team – Boucher and Thaddeus Young They will be free agents without restrictions this summer, and I expect the club will be interested in re-signing both players, assuming the price is right. The team’s salary isn’t yet close to luxury tax territory, so as long as Boucher and Young don’t get offers beyond the full average exception (about $10 million), Toronto can comfortably keep both.

The question will be how many years the Raptors are willing to serve, as the roster could get more expensive in the near future when guys like VanVleet and Trent, among others, are ready for new deals. I don’t expect Toronto to offer more than a guaranteed two-year guarantee for Boucher, Young, or any third-party free agent targets.

The Raptors will be under more pressure to use their full mid-level exception if they only re-sign one of Boucher and Young, but they should have the flexibility to use it even if both players return. It will be interesting to see which direction the team is going with MLE.

In the past year most of it went to the center (Birch), who’s had a 2021/22 injury-ridden season – will the Raptors try to tackle that situation again with a mid-level free agent, or do they expect more from Birch going forward? Will they instead pursue the shooter, or the backup point guard?

sniper monk owner It would be a great target, although it’s unclear if it can meet the expectations of the sky high nurse nick He has his players on the defensive end. Veterans like Kyle Anderson And the Dillon Wright He can handle the ball and will be suitable defensively – they’ve also improved their three-point numbers in recent years. Toronto should have some options.

It’s worth noting that while the Raptors didn’t have a first-round pick this year, they took home second place in Detroit, ranked 33rd overall. High second-round picks often get three or four year commitments, so Toronto could use a small portion of the mid-level exception to sign this player.

Both VanVleet and Siakam are eligible for an off-season extension, and I expect the Raptors to prioritize VanVleet, who has only one year guaranteed on his current deal before facing a player option decision in 2023.

While VanVleet’s struggle to make an impact in the first round of the playoffs against Philadelphia was a bit worrisome, he was plagued by multiple injuries and proved his good will in the postseason in the previous series. Toronto should feel good about offering him a deal that would give him at least a modest increase over his current price of $21 million a year. Siakam still has two seasons guaranteed, so no need to rush to lock it up just yet.


Set salary cap

Note: Our salary cap numbers are based on the league’s most recent forecast ($122 million) for 2022/23.

Guaranteed salary

  • Pascal Siakam ($35448672)
  • Fred Vanfleet ($21,250,000)
  • Gary Trent Jr. ($17505,000)
  • OG Anunoby $17357,143
  • Scotty Barnes ($7,644,600)
  • Birch ($6,667,500 USD)
  • Precious Ichiwa ($2840,160)
  • Malachi Flynn ($2,145,720 USD)
  • Dalano Banton ($150,000) – partial guarantee. Unsecured portion listed below. 1
  • Ismael Wainwright ($125,000) – waived.
  • Armoni Brooks ($50,000) – partial guarantee. Unsecured portion listed below. 2
  • Total: $111,183,795

Player Options

Team Options

Unsecured salary

  • Armoni Brooks ($1,702,638) 2
  • Dalano Banton ($1,413,518) 1
  • Total: $3,116,156

Restricted Free Agents

Free agents in two directions

Draft Choices

  • Choice #33 in general (without limitation)

Players Eligible for Extension

Note: These are players who are already eligible for an extension or will become eligible before the start of the 2022/23 season.

  • Pascal Siakam (veteran)
  • Fred Vanfleet (veteran)

Unrestricted Free Agents/Other Capital Holdings

  • Thaddeus Young (Maximum $21,285,000): Bird Rights
  • Chris Boucher (Maximum $13,338,000): Bird Rights
  • Lucas Nogueira (US$8,841,915): Bird Rights 3
  • Isaac Bonga (Max. $1,811,516): Non-Bird Rights
  • Jeremy Lin (Max. $1,811,516): Non-Bird Rights 3
  • Goody Mix (Max. $1,811,516): Non-Bird Rights 3
  • Jason Thompson (Max. $1,811,516): Non-Bird Rights 3
  • Utah Watanabe (Max. $1,811,516): Early Bird Rights
  • Total: $52,522,495

OFFICE CAP OUTLOOK

Assuming the Raptors keep Pantone, they will have about $112.5 million in guaranteed money earmarked for nine players. This puts them in a position to operate at their expected maximum ($122 million), especially if they intend to return at least one Boucher or Young. And unless one of those players is significantly more expensive than we expect, Toronto should also have plenty of breathing space below the projected $149 million tax threshold, opening the door to using some or all of the mid-level exemptions for non-taxpayers.

Roof Exceptions Available

  • Mid-level exception: $10,349,000 4
  • Semi-annual exception: $4,050,000 4
  • Commercial exception: $5,250,000
  • Commercial exception: $3,070,052

Notes

  1. Banton’s partial guarantee will increase to $300,000 after July 4 and his full salary will be guaranteed after the first day of the regular season.
  2. Brooks’ partial guarantee will increase to $250,000 after August 1 and his full salary will be guaranteed after the first day of the regular season.
  3. The cover holds for De Colo, Nogueira, Lin, Meeks, and Thompson remains in the Raptors books from previous seasons because it hasn’t been abandoned. It cannot be used in a signature or trading transaction.
  4. These are the projected values.

Salary and cap information from Basketball Insiders and RealGM was used to create this post.

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