Giannis Antetokounmpo is off the board, which means the Toronto Raptors will be shopping come NBA free agency in 2021. We explore the top 10 unrestricted free agents.
The Toronto Raptors were devastated to learn that their plans for the 2021 offseason were dashed when Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a five-year supermax contract worth $228.2 million to remain a part of the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Raptors were clearly making decisions to construct their current roster in hopes of making a splash in next year’s free agency. It’s believed that that meant bringing Antetokounmpo to Toronto, which seemed like a realistic proposition based on his relationship with Masai Ujiri. It’s hard to blame the superstar for signing the extension that has given him the biggest contract in NBA history.
As unfortunate as it is that the Toronto Raptors didn’t get their man, it’s probably even more frustrating for GM Bobby Webster who designed contracts to provide the team cap space to go shopping next offseason. It’s why Cheap Marc Gasol Jersey and Serge Ibaka weren’t offered multi-year deals to return.
With the cap space that the organization has created for next year, they will need to remain focused on filling their shopping list. We break down the top ten unrestricted free agents for the Raptors to acquire once the 2021 free agency window opens.
In order to keep the surprises to a minimum, let’s first get out of the way that Blake Griffin will not be on the list. Though he is a player the Toronto Raptors would like to have to play in their starting five, he has a player option that will certainly not be waved. He is certain to play the final year of his deal that will pay him $34,234,964. The same is true about Chris Paul who will earn $39,932,648 if he doesn’t opt-out and with that much money due to him, it would be shocking for him to pass on it.
Another player that wasn’t even considered for the top 10 is Paul Millsap. There has been a great deal of buzz around the potential for the 35-year-old power forward retiring. Still a presence in the NBA, Millsap isn’t the same player he once was.
While you may not find them in the top 10, the group remains strong. Here is the complete list:
To be blunt, the Toronto Raptors weren’t exactly frontrunners to land Giannis Antetokounmpo in the event that he decided to not sign his supermax extension from the Milwaukee Bucks. Be that as it may, the Raptors have recently had a bit of luck in obtaining talent. They’ve had two of the best two-way players in recent years in Cheap Kawhi Leonard Jersey and Cheap DeMar DeRozan Jersey.
Both of those players have been removed from the picture though, which left the Raptors relying on their remaining weapons for the 2019-20 season. Behind the sterling efforts of Cheap Pascal Siakam Jersey, Cheap Kyle Lowry Jersey, and Cheap Fred VanVleet Jersey, they finished with a 53-19 record that left them 2.5 games behind the Bucks for first place in the Eastern Conference.
While the Raptors are surely set on dedicating the next few years to the development of Siakam, they’ll also need some additional talent should they look to obtain another championship in the near future. As it stands, the skill level they pose wouldn’t get them over the hump in the East anymore.
A better portion of the same roster still exist coming into the 2020-21 season, but there are some weaknesses that could be addressed.
Trade Targets: Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Vucevic
The Raptors were able to retain one of their better talents in Fred VanVleet this offseason, but it cost them nearly all of their big man talent. Both Marc Gasol and Cheap Serge Ibaka Jersey departed for LA and are now inner-city rivals.
As it stands, the Raptors are left severely depleted in the frontcourt at the center position. The front office was able to snatch Cheap Aron Baynes Jersey out of the free agency pool, and he was one of the better options that came at a reasonable price. He’s also coming off a career year with the Phoenix Suns, averaging 11.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Still, Baynes certainty within the Raptors system remains an unknown. Prior to his blossoming year in Phoenix, Baynes struggled to find that same success with either the Boston Celtics or the Detroit Pistons. With that in mind, Baynes could’ve possibly just been a thriving player in Suns head coach Monty Williams’ system.
Karl-Anthony Towns could quickly grow tired in Minnesota in the upcoming season. The Timberwolves’ biggest move was re-signing Malik Beasley, and that’s just turned into a PR debacle as of late. If Minnesota is really in win-now mode, they did nothing to convince KAT that he should want to stay with the franchise for much longer.
In order to acquire Towns, the Raptors would need to unload basically all their non-Siakam assets such as Cheap Norman Powell Jersey, Cheap OG Anunoby Jersey, Cheap Chris Boucher Jersey, and Cheap Terence Davis Jersey. On top of that, they’d definitely need to give up all their first round picks for the next half decade. But being able to acquire an in-prime KAT to pair with Siakam would be well-worth any pricetag.
The same could be said for Nikola Vucevic, albeit to a lesser extent. The Orlando Magic didn’t hold back in 2019 when they signed the 7-foot center to a four-year, $100 million contract. For Vucevic or any player of his caliber, turning down that amount of money is hard to do. Now that the deal is done though, it may be time for Vucevic to consider the possibility of playing on a higher contender that can allow him to make a deep playoff run.
The Raptors were able to thrive for a good portion of their recent seasons by having interchangeable centers at their disposal through Ibaka and Gasol. Now, they primarily have Baynes to run the frontcourt while having Cheap Alex Len Jersey show up the bench unit.
Making a move for a legitimate, All-Star solidified center could be one of their better bets at competing in the coming years.