Raptors offseason preview: Extensions, Rudy Gobert pursuit and more

AP Photo/Morry Gash

Raptors offseason preview: Extensions, Rudy Gobert pursuit and more

Raptors

Raptors offseason preview: Extensions, Rudy Gobert pursuit and more

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The Toronto Raptors had a strong bounce-back season after spending a year in Tampa and made a ton of progress getting back to being a competitive team again. Fred VanVleet became an All-Star while Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes is looking like he will eventually become one. Most importantly, Pascal Siakam regained his All-NBA form. Things are looking up in Toronto.

The Raptors are heading into the offseason with a chance to build off their success for a potentially deeper playoff run. They have several players to discuss extensions with, some free agents to potentially bring back, as well some flexibility for a significant trade.

Extension negotiations for Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam

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Fred VanVleet will become extension-eligible this offseason for up to three years, $88.7 million. He could also decline his player option for 2023-24 and extend for up to four years, $114.2 million. Both extensions are similar in that they add the same amount of money for three additional years. VanVleet has likely played himself into that full amount and one of these extensions could be put on the table. He could also play out his contract for the chance to earn more on the open market in 2023.

Pascal Siakam will also become extension-eligible during the offseason for three years, projected at $130.7 million. Siakam’s strong second half of the season might’ve secured him All-NBA honors this season. If he earns it again next year, he would become eligible to sign a supermax extension in 2023.

The Raptors are unlikely to have cap space any time soon given their long-term commitments to their core players, as well as an eventual big new contract for Scottie Barnes in 2025. While the Raptors don’t necessarily need to extend VanVleet or Siakam now, it seems like a good bet that they will keep them beyond their current deals. Thaddeus Young is also still extension-eligible through June 30, 2022.

Filling out the roster

Raptors bench

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Raptors are heading into the offseason $33 million below the luxury tax with 11 players. They will have enough space to fill out their roster while maximizing their spending power. They will have access to the non-taxpayer mid-level exception (MLE) projected at $10.3 million, which they can use to improve their bench, as well as signing the 33rd selection in this year’s draft to a multi-year deal.

On top of that, they will have enough room below the luxury tax to also utilize their $5.2 million and $3.1 million trade exceptions, as well as re-signing Thaddeus Young and Chris Boucher. Those are their two free agents that are consistently in the rotation, but it’s unclear how the Raptors will prioritize them considering their surplus of big men off the bench. Justin Champagnie is another free agent who could be back since he was a candidate to get converted to the regular season roster.

Toronto needs guard and forward help off the bench to alleviate the heavy minutes load dedicated to their starters. There’s a good chance they fill one of these holes via trade but there should be plenty of talent available in free agency for the other. They should pursue the best player available with the MLE, and should still have flexibility remaining afterward to add to the payroll through trade.

Trade flexibility and pursuit of a true center

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The Raptors could be active on the trade market again looking to add a starting center. The emergence of Scottie Barnes suddenly gives the Raptors more trade options. For example, could OG Anunoby become expendable in their pursuit of an impactful big man? The Raptors have thrived in the regular season with their small starting lineup but they didn’t have much of an answer for Joel Embiid in the playoffs.

They make a lot of sense as a Rudy Gobert suitor should the Jazz decide to make significant changes. A package including Anunoby, salary filler, and multiple first-round picks could be appealing. There would be a lot of competition for his services and the Raptors could have one of the stronger packages out there.

The Raptors pursued several other centers during the trade deadline according to Michael Scotto, and it’s possible they revisit those trade talks this offseason. Myles Turner is a center who was mentioned who could be expendable given Indiana’s pivot towards rebuilding. A reunion with Jakob Poeltl could also make sense if the Spurs have reservations about paying him as he enters the last year of his contract.

2022-23 SALARY SITUATION

Guaranteed salaries: $112,862,765

Non-guaranteed salaries: $3,316,156

Total salary: $116,178,921

Luxury tax space: $32.8 million

Exceptions:

Non-taxpayer Mid-level: $10,349,000

Bi-Annual exception: $4,050,000

Goran Dragic trade exception: $5,250,000 (expires on February 10, 2023)

Kyle Lowry trade exception: $3,070,051 (expires on July 7, 2022)

Pascal Siakam

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

2022-23 salary: $35,448,672

Remaining salary guaranteed: $73,342,080 through 2023-24

Additional notes: Siakam is extension-eligible in the offseason for up to three years, projected at $130.7 million.

Fred VanVleet

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salary: $21,250,000

Remaining salary guaranteed: $44,074,074 through 2023-24

Additional notes: VanVleet is extension eligible throughout the 2022-23 season starting on July 8, 2022.

He also has a player option worth $22,824,074 for 2022-23.

Gary Trent Jr.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salary: $17,505,000

Remaining salary guaranteed: $35,840,000 through 2023-24

Additional notes: Trent Jr. has $250,000 in annual incentives, $225,000 of which are considered likely.

He also has a player option worth $18.6 million in 2023-24.

OG Anunoby

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salary: $17,357,143

Remaining salary guaranteed: $55,928,571

Additional notes: Anunoby has a player option worth $19,928,571 in 2024-25

Scottie Barnes

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salary: $7,644,600

Remaining salary guaranteed: $25,784,260 through 2024-25

Khem Birch

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salary: $6,667,750

Remaining salary guaranteed: $13,652,500 through 2023-24

Precious Achiuwa

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salary: $2,840,160

Remaining salary guaranteed: $7,219,687 through 2023-24 (assuming his  team option for 2023-24 gets picked up)

Malachi Flynn

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salary: $2,145,720

Remaining salary guaranteed: $6,018,745 through 2023-24 (assuming his team option for 2023-24 gets picked up)

Svi Mykhailiuk

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salary: $1,878,720 (player option)

Remaining salary guaranteed: $1,878,720

Additional notes: Mykhailiuk would become a Non Bird unrestricted free agent if he declines his player option.

Armoni Brooks

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salary: $1,752,638

Remaining salary guaranteed: $50,000

Additional notes: Brooks has a $50,000 partial guarantee that rises to $250,000 if not waived by August 1, 2022. He becomes fully guaranteed on opening night.

Dalano Banton

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salary: $1,563,518

Remaining salary guaranteed: $150,000

Additional notes: Banton has a $150,000 partial guarantee that rises to $300,000 if not waived by July 4, 2022. He becomes fully guaranteed on the league-wide cutdown date.

Thaddeus Young

Cap hold: $21,285,000

Type of free agent: Bird (unrestricted)

Chris Boucher

Cap hold: $13,338,000

Type of free agent: Bird (unrestricted)

Isaac Bonga

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Cap hold: $1,811,516

Type of free agent: Non Bird (unrestricted)

Yuta Watanabe

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Cap hold: $1,811,516

Type of free agent: Early Bird (unrestricted)

Justin Champagnie

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Cap hold: $1,616,044

Type of free agent: Non Bird (restricted)

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