Title: Raptors free-agent targets: Scouring the big-man market to avoid a 2020-21 repeat
Date: July 25, 2021
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I took a look at the free agent market for bigs and where the Raptors could fortify their interior this offseason.
However you feel about the 2021 draft and what the Raptors should do with the No. 4 pick, one element of their offseason is pretty clear: They’re going to need to solidify the centre position.
It doesn’t have to be a max-contract solution, necessarily. Especially if the Raptors find their way to Evan Mobley on draft night, their free-agent approach inside might be more about depth and matchup than ultimate upside. Chris Boucher has a team-friendly non-guaranteed deal for next season (with full Bird rights as a UFA the following summer), Freddie Gillespie has a non-guaranteed minimum contract, and Khem Birch showed well in his late-season audition. At the same time, Boucher isn’t really a centre, Gillespie is largely unproven and the Raptors don’t have meaningful rights on Birch; even if you love that trio, it’s going to be worth seeing what’s out there.
And so today we start a three-part look through the free-agent market, as we always do around this time. My sincere apologies for interrupting draft coverage for this. Unfortunately, there is enough time between the draft and free agency to run to Rabba, and that’s about it.