Raptor seeks new rebuild and parts ways with Coach Nick Nurse

Masai has a history of success with draft picks in the past (Anunaboy, Barnes, and Siakam), and with a lottery pick in the 2023 NBA draft, the Raptors hope to continue their blueprint. The Raptors struggled with shooting woes all season, while their bench production was non-existent. Toronto ranked 28th in 3-point percentage (33.5%), last in bench minutes (14.1) and points per game (27.2). Raptors’ Fred VanVleet, and Gary Trent Jr.. both have player options and will most likely test free agency this July. Jakob Poeltl who rejoined the Raptors at the trade deadline is an unrestricted free agent. Fred VanVleet, who changed representation to Klutch Sports Group, has until June 15th to opt into his player option. VanVleet has until this June 30th to accept the four-year $114 million extension from Toronto. Vanvleet is a vital piece of this Raptors ballclub, ranking second in minutes played. Despite the slow start, Vanvleet showed glimpses of why he’s still a top guard in the Eastern Conference. Evaluating VanVleet’s contract valuations give a realistic look at his determined value. If Toronto agrees to pay VanVleet anything north of a four-year $115 million deal, he will earn over $25 million in the 2023-24 season.

“ There’s parody in the league and I just don’t view that breaking down a team is the only way to build a team. I think when I look at the trade deadline or I look at the players we have I think there’s a alot of value.” – Masai Ujiri (Toronto Raptors President)

The top front-office priority will be around Raptors’ Forward Pascal Siakam and O.G Anunoby who are both extension eligible and can be free agents in 2024. Siakam is eligible to sign a four-year, $189.1 million max extension in July. Siakam is coming off another all-star calibre season, averaging 24.2 points, 7.8 rebs, and 5.8 assists. You can make a strong case that Siakam will receive another All-NBA bid. Another All-NBA bid makes Siakam eligible for the supermax extension. The extension would increase to five years and an extra $100 million (worth up to $288 million). Anunoby upheld his promises to the Raptors organization. Masai Ujiri praised O.G. on his maturation, declaring him one of the top two-way players in the NBA. Anunoby averaged 17.3 points on 54.1% from the field and 44.2% on 3s after the All-Star break. With the recent CBA rule changes, the Raptors will get an extra $16 million that can be leveraged to offer Anunoby. A four-year, $116 million contract would start at $26.1 million and replace his $19.2 million player option in 2024-25.

“ I think sometimes people mention to us about contracts, I personally don’t think contracts is an issue becasue I think historically here the players knew that we’ve taken care of the players here. You know there’s been barely any players where that’s what we kind of do.” – Masai Ujiri

If Toronto agrees to bring back its core of Vanvleet, Trent, and Poeltl, the Raptors will face financial turmoil for years to come. With the addition of Siakam, Barnes, and Anonuby’s contracts, the Raptors are potentially looking at around $175 million in the contracts during the 2024-25 season for their top five players. In the business of the NBA, when executives draft prominent picks this is the price you pay. It’s time for Toronto to go in a different direction, the invisible ability to attract high-level players must come to an end. Masai will need to utilize his core pieces and test the market this off-season.

Written by: Hussein Abdullahi

Featuring: @raptors, @nbacanada

Published by: TGQ Inc.

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