Title: Raptors’ Plan of Attack Clearer After Aggressive Roster Reshuffle
Date: July 10, 2017
Original Source: Vice
Synopsis: For my latest at Vice, I looked at the Raptors’ whirlwind of moves over the weekend and what it says about their intentions for the next three years.
The ink had barely dried on new three-year contracts for Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka when the questions started flowing in. Did the Toronto Raptors just commit to a good core that’s not a championship contender? Just how deep into the luxury tax were they willing to go with a cap sheet that suddenly looked bloated and inflexible? How could they possibly fortify this group in the months and years to come?
Some of those questions remain unanswered, but a flurry of moves over the course of the weekend sure has gone a long way in clearing things up. Masai Ujiri and company were incredibly active in the shadows of the Thomas & Mack Center at Las Vegas Summer League, moving swiftly to topple several dominos and reveal at least a part of their plan for this year and the years moving forward.
To rewind a bit: On Friday, the Raptors re-introduced Lowry and Ibaka at the Air Canada Centre. It was an important day for the franchise, an affirmation of their commitment to staying at least good a while longer and a reminder that the organization, once in constant fear of any unrestricted free agent of any value bolting, has grown to the point of being able to mostly dictate its own business. Lowry and Ibaka are on fair deals, but they’re not bargains, and Ujiri had to answer in unspecific generalities about how the team would tip-toe forward with a flawed roster and an asphyxiating salary structure.