Title: Raptors have options to shed salary. None of them are great
Date: May 11, 2017
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about a few options the Raptors have if they need to trim salary this offseason.
Sometimes, finding the answers to difficult questions begets more difficult questions.
OK, so the Toronto Raptors have decided to retain Kyle Lowry and he has decided to stay. So what the heck do you do with the rest of the roster, short on means of fortifying and with three other key free agents? OK, Serge Ibaka wants to stay, too. How do you intend to, you know, pay all of these people without a luxury tax bill that would make Dan Gilbert blush (especially when you don’t have the option of predatory lending to make some of that money back)?
If Lowry walks and the Raptors take a step back to look further down the line, their financial situation gets a little simpler. If Lowry’s back, though, there are tough calls to be made because of a complicated salary cap situation. We broke that down in a fair amount of detail in an earlier post.
But everything in basketball, as in life, is fluid. Raptors president Masai Ujiri has long proven able to trade just about any deal and the collective bargaining agreement offers some potential means of lowering team salary. The off-season is lengthy and abound with options, even if they are imperfect. Here’s a look at some ways the Raptors could shed salary in the event they want to retain some of their free agents but don’t want to be facing down an exorbitant luxury tax bill for a non-contender.