Title: Raptors free agent targets: Sorting through wing and forward help at varying price points
Date: July 27, 2021
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I took a look at the free agent market for wings and forwards and where the Raptors could look at to add on the cheap this summer.
The benefit of a pair of forwards like OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam is that building a roster around them can go several different ways.
Worried about how a new piece projects into his position defensively? Anunoby is maybe the most versatile defender in the league and can move over where you need him, including occasional time at centre. Wind up with a roster low on ballhandling and playmaking? Siakam has proven capable of running units on at least a part-time basis as a point-forward of sorts. The market provides good value at one side of the positional spectrum and not the other? Shift Anunoby and Siakam where you need. They really do allow the front office to accumulate talent first and trust the coaching staff and players to maximize the fit.
However, they cannot play 48 minutes per game over 82 games, and the Raptors don’t have any sure-thing forwards on the books behind them. DeAndre’ Bembry, Yuta Watanabe and/or Paul Watson Jr. could return for functional, continuity-based depth, and still, there would be room to add another combo-forward or wing to fill out the depth chart. Luckily, there are a lot of potentially cheap names to fill that role and no need to overspend chasing a balanced depth chart.
As always, we’re splitting hairs between “guard” and “wing” or “wing” and “big” in some cases. Versatility is good.