Title: Kyle Lowry domino will trigger complicated off-season financially for the Raptors
Date: May 10, 2017
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the Raptors’ salary cap situation heading into the offseason.
The Toronto Raptors have six or seven weeks to begin figuring out the answers to some pretty difficult questions. In what figures to be one of the most pivotal off-seasons in franchise history, there are no shortage of difficult problems laid at the feet of president Masai Ujiri, general manager Jeff Weltman, assistant general manager and salary cap expert Bobby Webster, and the rest of the staff.
Outside of the fate of head coach Dwane Casey, most of these decisions are coloured by the team’s salary cap situation, or will in turn colour it. Should Kyle Lowry be retained? That really ties up flexibility moving forward. Want to let him go? There aren’t clear fiscal means of replacing him. If he goes, then, does it make sense to clear the books? And who can afford to pry Lowry away, anyway? Patrick Patterson may have cost himself some money, but was it enough to make him worth retaining? Every question facing the Raptors needs to be looked at not just through a basketball lens but a salary cap lens, as well.
How things will look on July 1, 12:00 a.m.
The Raptors’ hands are mostly tied for the time being. Ujiri could work the phone for trades, but the NBA is in sort of an unofficial moratorium on roster shake-ups until sometime close to draft night (June 22). Barring a trade, they’ll use the No. 23 pick on a player and enter free agency at midnight on July 1 with their cap sheet as follows.