Title: Raptors Reasonablists, Volume II, Part I: Moratoriums, cap holds and inflexibility, oh my!
Date: July 7, 2017
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: Eric Koreen and I will be doing a semi-regular email exchange column about the Raptors, dubbing ourselves The Reasonablists. The latest edition tries to work through the Raptors’ tough salary cap and roster situation.
Welcome to the second season (!) of Raptors Reasonablists with Eric Koreen and Blake Murphy. Throughout the year, lead NBA writer Koreen and regular contributor Murphy discuss hot-button issues surrounding the Raptors, but with an even-keeled approach in pursuit of finding reasonable middle ground. If we have faith in anything, it is that reasonable middle grounds lead to: a) workable long-term solutions; b) increased empathy and understanding for others; and c) more wins — at least more wins when they truly matter — probably. We hold these truths to be self-evident, and we hold these truths to be good truths.
KOREEN: Do you hear that, Blake? Do you hear the sirens? Do you hear them blaring? Are they the opening notes to Sloan’s sublime “Money City Maniacs,” a fixture played at an intolerable volume during critical situations of Raptors games at the Air Canada Centre? No. (Yes.) They are actually the sirens calling the Raptors Reasonablists to action, just as the free agency moratorium comes to an end and deals can become official. The Raptors are in a bit of a financial and roster-building pickle, and damn it, Blake, let’s make some sense of it.
To recap, the Raptors re-signed Kyle Lowry (three years, $90-million, with incentives that could push his deal up to $100-million) and Serge Ibaka (three years, $65-million). Their other two free agents, P.J. Tucker and Patrick Patterson, left for Houston and Oklahoma City, respectively. The Raptors made an effort to re-sign Tucker, who understandably chose the better team that plays in a city with no state tax, and did not do much to retain Patterson, who signed a cheap contract that I still do not really understand.
Even still, they are sitting, conservatively, $13-million above the $119.2-million luxury tax threshold, with few means of adding to their roster. And the means that they do have a) are unlikely to add a piece of much utility; and b) will be prohibitively costly at this moment, since it will just send them further into the increasingly punitive luxury tax.
Continue reading at The Athletic.