Title: Who’s staying and who’s going? The Raptors most-likely-to-stay list
Date: September 22, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I did my annual rundown of the likelihood each Raptor is back next season.
“But I was kinda hoping you’d stay.” — The Wonder Years
Well, this feels far less dramatic than last year.
This annual column ranking the likelihood that each player would return to the Toronto Raptors felt like everything last year. Ironically, a stoic figure like Kawhi Leonard is the hardest to glean intent from, and so the league sat on the edge of its seat from the moment he exited the championship parade with a “Ha. Ha. Ha” until the moment he signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. Every win and loss was viewed by some through the lens of how it helped or hurt the chances Leonard would remain a Raptor. Yahoo had Kawhi Watch. We had the He Stay Index. RealGM had sleuths that caused CP24 to send choppers.
Nothing feels as heavy this time around. It’s not that there isn’t uncertainty, because there is. The salary cap rules force tough decisions and an eye on 2021-22 makes them tougher. The Raptors’ free agents will have suitors, as will some of the players still under contract if things break a certain way. There’s nothing here that’s going to alter the landscape of the league quite like Leonard. (Or quite like we thought Leonard would, shout out to 519 legend Jamal Murray.)
So, how did we do last year? Except for Jordan Loyd leaving and Patrick McCaw re-signing, not bad! Our panel gave the players who wound up staying an average “stay” likelihood of 79 percent and the players who left an average of 37 percent. Enough to, as they say, run this column back.