Title: Scouting report: New Raptors sharpshooter Matt Thomas
Date: July 1, 2019
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I broke down the Raptors’ signing of Euro sharpshooter Matt Thomas and provided a scouting report on his game.
The Toronto Raptors have their man.
OK, not that man. But after two years of trying to bring Matt Thomas into their organization, they’ve succeeded.
The Raptors are signing Thomas to a three-year deal, as first reported by Varlas Nikos of Eurohoops. The deal is for $4.2 million over three years, sources tell our Shams Charania. That’s a three-year minimum with a starting salary of $898,310, great for adding depth under the tax, but the Raptors will have to use a small part of whichever mid-level exception they wind up with to bring him in, as the minimum contract exception only allows for deals up to two years. (They did not figure to use the full mid-level in most cases. At the minimum and this small a chunk of an exception, Thomas’ addition should have no bearing on other roster moves. The Raptors now have 10 players under contract and plenty of work to do in this range of salary whether Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green stay or go.)
The Raptors have been tracking Thomas, one of the best shooters in the world outside of the NBA, for a few years now. After going undrafted (and largely unranked) after four seasons at Iowa State, Thomas wowed in a pre-draft workout with the Raptors in the spring of 2017. Coming off junior and senior seasons where he shot 43.2 and 44.5 percent, respectively, on large volumes of 3s, Thomas broke Raptors draft workout shooting records. Toronto had hoped to bring him into their development pipeline and even listed him on their roster for Las Vegas Summer League, only for him to wind up playing there for the Lakers. He shot a scorching 17-for-28 on 3s in the tournament but ultimately decided to eschew any G League opportunities to begin his pro career overseas.