Raptors free agent targets: All the possible fits, and risks, at centre

Title: Raptors free agent targets: All the possible fits, and risks, at centre
Date: October 14, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about potential frontcourt targets for the Raptors in free agency.

At some point, we needed to start focusing on who the Toronto Raptors may add this offseason instead of who they may lose.

The two things are related, of course: the fewer players they lose in free agency, the fewer holes they will have to fill. But even the optimistic among us have surveyed the free-agent market, the Raptors roster, and the team’s cap situation and determined that there will be roughly five roster spots turned over for next season.

We can pencil in 11 spots accounted for from players under contract (barring trade), and two more between their draft picks and any undrafted free agents. That leaves four open spots for the team’s six free agents and any additions off the market.

The most pressing need is at centre, where the one player currently under contract has 28 minutes of NBA experience, doesn’t have a guaranteed deal, and is more of a combo-big than a true centre. It could remain a position of need, even if one of Serge Ibaka or Marc Gasol re-sign. Both of those players are in their 30s, and the Raptors may balk at long-term deals. It’s worth diverting some of their minutes to finding someone who might stick at the position longer-term. The Raptors want to win next season, but there’s also a need to continue focusing on development. The upcoming draft could yield interesting bigs. Free agency could be just as fruitful.

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