Title: Plotting the Raptors’ short- and long-term cap outlook with and without Kawhi Leonard
Date: June 26, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I broke down what the Raptors’ cap situation will look like in the short- and long-term whether Kawhi Leonard stays or leaves.
It’s June 30, or July 3, or sometime later next week, and the start of free agency has gone your way. He Stay. You’ve convinced Kawhi Leonard to re-sign with the Toronto Raptors for one, two, maybe five years, and the work is about to begin to make sure each of those seasons is spent in title contention.
Or it’s July 2, the call comes from Los Angeles, and your worst fear from last summer – mitigated significantly by a 2019 championship – has come to pass. He Gone. Leonard is signing with the Clippers, or someone else, it doesn’t matter because he’s not a Raptor. Now, too, the work begins, on making sure the lull between championship windows is a short one.
The Raptors will be prepared for either case. Smart teams are ready to go down different paths as players and markets dictate, and while it can at times feel like pessimism to plan for the worst-case scenario, the only way to insulate against such outcomes is to be prepared for them. If Leonard stays, the Raptors will be thrilled, and they’ll set about executing a plan to repeat as champions as soon as possible. If Leonard leaves, they’ll take the lump and set about pivoting to the next contending core.
What follows is a look at what the He Stay and He Gone scenarios look like with plans for the short, medium and long term. They are rough guides, particularly the further out things get, intended only to give you a picture of what’s on the horizon no matter what news comes down in the coming week or two. There’s also, as we’ll see, a big question mark in the near term that we’ll address tomorrow: A possible Pascal Siakam extension.