A look at the key offseason moves and changes for every team in the league. Next up are the Toronto Raptors.
Prioritize the draft
With the Raptors’ cap situation, the team was forced to address its roster needs through the draft.
Rarely does a team that played in the Eastern Conference finals have an opportunity to draft a lottery pick.
The lottery pick provided security for the eventual free-agent departure of Bismack Biyombo.
Although teams in the lottery tend to draft the best available players over need, Toronto was able to accomplish both with center Jakob Poeltl.
Although Poeltl will not provide immediate relief for Biyombo’s shot-blocking and rebounding, the 20-year-old’s size, mobility and offensive efficiency should complement starter Jonas Valanciunas.
The Raptors’ second pick in the first round, Pascal Siakam, should provide instant energy off the bench.
With Patrick Patterson the lone power forward on the roster, Siakam’s athleticism and length could help him crack the rotation this season.
Toronto wasted little time signing All-Star DeMar DeRozan, one of the top guards on the free-agent market, to a five-year max contract.
With little flexibility in free agency, Raptors management had little choice but to make the Olympian their primary off-season target.
DeRozan has shown improvement each year since being drafted by Toronto in 2009, and his signing means all five Raptors starters return to a team that was two wins from the NBA Finals.
The Celtics’ signing of All-Star Al Horford had an indirect effect on the Raptors in free agency.
With Boston needing to create cap space to sign Horford, restricted free agent Jared Sullinger found himself to be the odd man out.
With only the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions at their disposal and with free-agent salaries at an all-time high, the Raptors were patient while also looking for bargains.
The Raptors’ recent success helped get Sullinger to agree to a one-year, $5.6 million contract.
1. DeMar DeRozan $26,540,100
2. Jonas Valanciunas $14,382,022
3. DeMarre Carroll $14,200,000
4. Kyle Lowry $12,000,000
5. Terrence Ross $10,000,000
6. Cory Joseph $7,315,000
7. Patrick Patterson $6,050,000
8. Jared Sullinger $5,628,000
9. Jakob Poeltl $2,703,960
10. Pascal Siakam $1,196,040
11. Lucas Nogueira $1,921,320
12. Bruno Caboclo $1,589,640
13. Delon Wright $1,577,280
14. Norman Powell $874,636
15. Fred VanVleet $543,471
16. Drew Crawford $543,471
17. Jarrod Uthoff $543,471
18. Yanick Moreira $543,471
FA cap hold 2016
Nando de Colo $1,902,000
Salary table 2016
Guaranteed salaries $106,152,998
Dead money $0
Tax variance $1,747,840
Free-agent cap holds $1,902,000
Incomplete roster charge $0
Salaries: cap $109,510,411
Salaries: tax $111,258,251
Salary cap $94,143,000
Luxury tax $113,287,000
Cap space None ($15,367,411 over)
Tax room $2,028,749
Hard cap $117,287,000
Hard-cap room $6,028,749
The Raptors were one of a handful of teams that entered free agency without cap space.
Although Toronto had $70 million in guaranteed contracts, $20 million in free-agent cap holds had the Raptors right at the cap.
DeRozan was signed using full Bird rights.
Once DeRozan signed, Toronto used the full mid-level Sullinger.
The Raptors are currently one of four teams that are hard-capped.
Free agents signed in the offseason cannot be traded until either Dec. 15, Jan. 15 or for three months if they signed after Sept. 15.
Sullinger, Jarrod Uthoff, Fred VanVleet, Yanick Moreira and Drew Crawford cannot be traded until Dec. 15.
Because DeRozan was signed using Bird rights and his contract exceeds his previous one’s value by 20 percent, he can’t be traded until Jan. 15.
Starter Bench Bench
PG Kyle Lowry Cory Joseph Delon Wright/Fred VanVleet
SG DeMar DeRozan Norman Powell Drew Crawford
SF DeMarre Carroll Terrence Ross Bruno Caboclo
PF Patrick Patterson Jarred Sullinger Pascal Siakam/Jarrod Uthoff
C Jonas Valanciunas Jakob Poeltl Lucas Nogueira/Yanick Moreira
The Raptors currently have 14 players on guaranteed contracts.
VanVleet, Uthoff and Moreira were signed to partial guaranteed contracts with Crawford signed to a non-guaranteed salary.
VanVleet, Moreira and Uthoff will be candidates for the Raptors’ NBA Development League team if they do not make the team.
SNEAK PEEK TO NEXT SUMMER
With DeRozan locked in to a long-term contract, the focus will now shift to All-Star Kyle Lowry.
Toronto could be in the same tight cap situation next summer.
The Raptors are currently right at the salary cap in 2017-18 and signing Lowry (player option in 2017) could be Toronto’s big free-agent acquisition next July.
KEEP AN EYE ON
The draft picks
Poeltl and Siakam join an already crowded group of former first-round picks.
With an already deep bench, can Delon Wright, Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira find minutes and roles with the Raptors this season?
Wright, likely to miss four months with a shoulder injury, is facing an uphill battle with incumbent Cory Joseph.
Caboclo and Nogueira, entering their third seasons, will need to build off summer league and have a strong training camp.
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