Title: Raptors’ tough decision on 15-man should be a multi-layered debate
Date: March 15, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I looked at the tough, multi-layered decision the Raptors have coming on what to do with their 15th roster spot for the playoffs.
When the Toronto Raptors flipped Bruno Caboclo for Malachi Richardson at the trade deadline, it created a little bit of financial flexibility, breathing room under the luxury tax line to play the buyout market. That market didn’t bear fruit — a small handful of intriguing names became available, and the Raptors’ unwillingness to disrupt chemistry and their inability to guarantee a role left no candidate as a fit. A minor disappointment, sure, but any addition was going to be more of a Jason Thompson-level impact than a Joe Johnson-in-Miami one.
Not landing a player on the buyout market didn’t mean the Raptors were done. Dating back as far as July, it looked as if the Raptors had set themselves up to leverage their two-way players as a pseudo 15th-man-by-committee, anyway, to help skirt the luxury tax. Last week, they signed Nigel Hayes to a 10-day contract, and on Wednesday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that they’ll sign him to a second when this one expires after Thursday’s game. This has essentially put a drop-dead date on a difficult decision for the Raptors: By the time Hayes’ second 10-day expires on March 25, they’ll need to have some idea of what they’re going to do with their 15th roster spot come playoff time.
The Raptors have a few interesting options available to them.