There is still a lot of work for the Raptors to do.
As they prepare to start an NBA season without Kyle Lowry for the first time in nearly a decade, the Raptors are still looking for a center of some sort in a free agent marketplace that has opened with a predictable spate of spending Monday night.
But even though they lost Lowry and brought in goaltender Gary Trent Jr., the Raptors have yet to resolve the glaring absence of a proven great man on the roster.
According to various reports, Jarrett Allen has resigned with the Cleveland Cavaliers for five years and $ 100 million (US), Richaun Holmes will remain in Sacramento for a four-year contract of up to $ 55 million, and Kelly Olynyk has moved. from Houston to the Detroit Pistons in a three-year, $ 37 million contract – leaving the free agent ranks of established big men woefully thin.
These three, along with Nerlens Noel (back in New York) and Dewayne Dedmon (back in Miami), were the only proven centers on the market and all are now gone.
Lowry’s departure could give the Raptors a boost in their quest for frontline help. One of the returning pieces for Lowry is veteran goaltender Goran Dragic, who would be superfluous on a Toronto roster along with Fred VanVleet and Malachi Flynn. Moving it to another transaction is a definite possibility.
Dallas is interested in Dragic, who is intrigued by the idea of joining fellow Slovenian Luka Doncic with the Mavericks, according to league sources.
Until Raptors Chairman Masai Ujiri and GM Bobby Webster close a deal for a great man, their free agent purchases and roster rebuilding are not complete. They still have interest in Khem Birch, who finished the season in Toronto, and Freddy Gillespie, who will play for the Toronto Summer League team starting this week.
Meanwhile, the Raptors are intrigued by Trent’s long-term potential and now have time to see how he develops. Trent, a 22-year-old former second-round pick, agreed to a three-year, $ 54 million contact to stay with Toronto, securing a backcourt spot.
The Raptors see Trent as an underdeveloped version of Norm Powell and will spend the offseason working on his ball handling and one-on-one play so he can better fit in with the ball’s movement. ‘team, read attack and reaction.
Precious Achiuwa, a six-foot-nine forward who also comes into the deal with Lowry, according to multiple reports, is the most intriguing prospect Toronto has had on Monday night.
The 21-year-old forward, the 20th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, has just had an excellent run with the Nigeria Olympic team. He spent his rookie season with the Heat under the tutelage of respected veteran Udonis Haslem and has the kind of work ethic that Raptors coach Nick Nurse will appreciate.
He doesn’t have a shooting range – he didn’t attempt a three-point shot in 61 games and 737 minutes with Miami last season – but he averaged about 10 rebounds every 36 minutes and shot to 54% of the land.
The expected wave of signing announcements, none of which can be formalized until Friday, underscored the value of veteran point guard at this time.
Aside from Lowry’s contract, which will be around $ 90 million, Chris Paul was awarded a four-year, $ 120 million contract to stay in Phoenix, Mike Conley will remain in Utah on a 72-year contract. , $ 5 million over three years, and Derrick Rose is sticking with the Knicks for $ 43 million over three years. Lonzo Ball is the only other major young point guard to move, traveling to Chicago from New Orleans on a four-year, $ 85 million contract.
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