According to Marc Stein, the Raptors are interested in acquiring the 22nd pick in exchange for John Salmons and their 37th pick. The stickler is taking back Tayshaun Prince’s contract which is owed $7,707,865 for next season. The Grizzlies would then presumably waiver Salmons who is owed only a million if waived before June 30.

Why would the Raptors want a second first rounder? It’s highly unlikely that they’re going to draft two rookies that late in the draft, and this is very likely a play to get more assets to package the picks to move up in the draft. With Kyle Lowry staring free agency and the Raptors standing a distinct chance of losing him, being upwardly mobile for Tyler Ennis could be one potential play. Or if you dare to dream big, you could package another player and go even higher.

Will’s Update

So, let’s talk Prince. He’s 34 years old and on his last legs. Last season, he started 76 regular season games for Memphis, averaging a whopping 6.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 25.6 minutes per contest. He can’t shoot from anywhere (29 percent from deep) and can’t get to the basket either.

In essence, the move swallows Prince’s cost, and rents out a big chunk of what would be the Raptors’ cap space.  As I discussed in the Asik trade post, trading Salmons for real money clogs up the Raptors’ cap situation. With Prince on board, the Raptors will be very close to the luxury tax if they bring back Lowry, Vasquez and Patterson for around $20 million. It would mean no more big signings from them this offseason.

However, the upside would be a massive chunk of cap room next year. Fields, Hayes and Prince all expire in 2015 for a total of $20 million plus. That give the Raptors enough room to chase after a big free-agent. And of course, they get another first-rounder. That’s a plus too.

Or, they could potentially use the stretch provision on Prince’s deal, and pay him over three seasons (~$2.6 million per year). It wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do IMO, unless they’re looking to free up cap room for this season. But it’s an option.

I mean, if the Spurs want him, that has to be the ultimate seal of approval, right?

UPDATE

The Grizzlies traded their 2013 pick, which means this could only happen via the Roy Hibbert route, where the Grizzlies take who the Raptors want at 22, then trade it the day later.

  • Mark

    If we land Ennis, Ujiri will be admitting that Lowry is on his way out.

    • jakdripr

      I don’t think so necessarily, it could also mean Vasquez isn’t coming back.

      • CashGameND

        i would hate that. pretty sure he’d come back on a bargain deal to be a really solid backup pg who loves the city and could stay long term

      • OakTree

        Or, it could mean De Colo / Buycks / Stone aren’t coming back.

        Ennis is a late first round rookie, I wouldn’t expect him to contribute much more than those three combined next year.

    • Mexiballer

      Not at all. It means that Vasquez isnt the backup point guard of the future. And he shouldnt be.

      • johng_3

        Vasquez isn’t even a PG imo, he is more of a combo guard. He can’t really run a offense

        • Dr. Scooby

          not sure I agree with statement. What do you consider ‘running an offense’?

          • johng_3

            Setting up the play and making sure DeMar or the post players get the ball. Grevis imo looks to score and is more of a spot up shooter from passes from Lowry and DeMar. Plus, the guy can’t even guard half the PGs in the league

            • Dr. Scooby

              totally agree about defense, but I believe Vasquez was specifically tasked with scoring on last season’s Raptors.
              He was 1st in the NBA in assists and 3nd in the league in assists per game with the Pelicans in 2012/13.

        • Chewwy No Matthew

          I don’t agree. Vasquez is a terrific passer and runs the floor well.

        • asifyouknow

          He had me fooled, I thought he was a Center….I guess I’m still learning…lol

    • WhiteVegas

      Means Vasquez is on his way out. Will be a few years before Ennis is ready to start. The 20th and 22nd pick both make about $1.1M per year for 4 years. That’s way way cheaper than bringing Vasquez back (likely $4-$6M per year). Having competent players on rookie deals is how you have a good team with cap space. We’ll be major players in 2015 free agency if we want to.

      • asifyouknow

        True ,,,,

  • Birdman

    I like it. Doesn’t tie us up too much for a veteran player (May not give much on court but a good presence to have). Prince is still a competent defender and would have helped us out in the playoffs this year. Gives us a bit of a plan (FA signing in 2015) and another 1st round pick in a deep draft.

    • Tinman

      use the amnesty on Prince – too much money for a bit player

      • 2damkule

        he’s not an amnesty candidate.

  • Dr. Scooby

    Who knows, maybe the Raps could get 18-20 quality backup minutes per game from Prince, mentor our young SF. We get another 1st round pick…and Price sails of into the sunset at season’s end…hmm has potential.

    • DDayLewis

      Erm, you’ll be extremely disappointed then. Prince is horrible at this point. He’s not even a good defender anymore.

      • Dr. Scooby

        I’m not a super fan of the trade but,
        Haven’t watched much of Prince this past season in Memphis…but he did mange to pull down almost 26 minutes per game on a 50 win competitive playoff team.

        • DDayLewis

          He played more out of necessity, than anything else. They had an offense-defense thing going with him and Miller.

          • Dr. Scooby

            Raps offense doesn’t clog the paint the same way Memphis’ does, maybe Prince shooting over bench players from 10-12 feet could work?

            (I know, I’m reaching, but I like the idea of another pick.)

      • WhiteVegas

        He could body up on Joe Johnsons big slow ass. That’s an improvement over Salmons, and that’s all we need here, an improvement over salmons. The bar couldn’t be lower. Ross will still start at the 3, with Fields and Prince competing for the backup minutes.

  • ac1011990

    I would rather take Glenn Robinson and Clint Capela with the 2 picks. I like Lowry and Vasquez, they seem to play well together and Vasquez is a great backup to have. I don’t really see a need to fill the PG spot, useless Masai has a feeling one or both won’t be coming back.

    • johng_3

      I would rather take Capela who is 6″10 with a 7″3 wingspan and is just as athletic as GR3. He has more potential to be an impact player than Robinson

      • ac1011990

        If the deal for the 22nd pick goes through we could have both :). Glenn seems to be a little underrated by people, hes a solid defensive player, good athleticism and can hold his own on offense to. I guess he doesnt have the same appeal as a guy like Capela, but i think he would fit nicely with the team. Its going to be a fun draft day whatever happens.

  • DAONEGUYBOI

    JUST DO IT MAN, ANYTHING TO HAVE MAX MONEY IN 2015, WE GONNA WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2015 WHEN WE SIGN KEVIN DURANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • DDayLewis

      …but we had max money in 2015 anyway?

      • DAONEGUYBOI

        THE MORE THE MERRIER, WHEN HAS SOMEONE HAD TOO MUCH MONEY??!! BUT I SEE YOUR POINT!!

        • 2damkule

          do you see the point in turning off your caps lock?

          • DAONEGUYBOI

            IM SORRY, I SHOULD TURN IT OFF, IT’S JUST THAT I FEEL LIKE I HAVE TO MAKE A POINT!!! THAT AND I AM ALREADY COMMITTED TO USING CAPS LOCK!!!

    • WhiteVegas

      Durant isn’t a free agent until the 2016 offseason. So we’d have to wait one more year.

      • DAONEGUYBOI

        REALLY? I WASN’T AWARE OF THAT, I SWEAR EVERYONE WAS MENTIONING DURANT BEING AVAILIBLE IN 2015, I GUESS I WAS WRONG, OH WELL………

  • UEATADAPOOPOO

    This could mean that Vasquez isn’t coming back because I read somewhere about him wanting to get a chance to start and with Lowry on this team, I don’t see that happening unless he returns to his “constantly injured” self, so this should be a fun couple days up until July 1st of course…..

    • Dr. Scooby

      The NBA is absolutely filled with quality PG these days…and 3 more (Smart, Payton and Innis) are coming soon.

      I can’t see Vasquez starting for any team, unless there is an injury.

      • Dr. Scooby

        and Exum

        • UEATADAPOOPOO

          there is no doubt that there are good quality potential PG’s coming in, but if LA were to draft Randle? I could see someone like Vasquez thriving in that kind of environment, even on Miami he’d be a nice upgrade over Chalmers possibly…..or maybe im clueless lol

          • Dr. Scooby

            yeah, perhaps, but they already have a decent distributor in Kendal Marshal.

            • UEATADAPOOPOO

              Yeah he’s a good at passing, but I think that’s all….hopefully everything works out for the best and we can retain current roster, get the 22nd pick,and then hunt down a mammoth in 2015

        • WhiteVegas

          and Napier. This draft is loaded to the gills with good PG’s, hence the possibility of Ennis falling to 20 when he’d be a lotto pick any other year.

      • asifyouknow

        He will prove you wrong soon…..

    • Benjamin

      You’re just twisting Vasquez’s words. He loves this team, but as a natural competitor he also wants to start. He’s willing to put in the work to be a starter one day but until then he’s happy where he is getting starter’s minutes off the bench. We should be looking to keep him as best we can.

    • johng_3

      Well you got Ennis to play point next season as the backup and you can just add another quality backup scorer off the bench

    • asifyouknow

      The Raptors will probably wake up soon with DeColo as their PG….

  • OakTree

    I like the move a lot, and it definitely seems like a Ujiri trade.

    It frees up cap room for next year and gives us two first round picks in what looks to be a nice deep draft, what’s not to like?

    …Other than it means we’re definitely not involved in the LBJ/Melo sweepstakes.

    • Benjamin

      Or it means we have one big chunk of salary that we can use if LBJ signs and trades 😉 In all seriousness though we were never in that sweepstake.

  • Jensan

    My question is why would nt you use the stretch provision. The cost is 2.6 for the next three years opening 5 million dollars this and the salary cap is to project for next year 4 million higher . Finally, the third year will be a lock- out year .

  • Mexiballer

    I like this move. Not crazy about Prince’s contract but there is a price to pay. I dont know why Zarrar thinks its highly unlikely the Raps would draft two rookies. Masai has brought in a coaching staff to teach and develop young talent for the long term. It makes sense that he wants to put some of those long term pieces in place especially if he found two or three good prospect that he likes late in the first round with picks 20 and 22. Its a good opportunity to get those pieces tonight and start the growing and building process with them now. If they are keepers, as he obviously would believe that they are, we are looking at a very young group of eight to nine players becoming a formidable team in two to three years with Lowry leading the way.

    • Dr. Scooby

      I dunno about Ujiri not wanting rookies…I mean draft a Clint Capela type in 2014 then trade his potential in a package in 2015. Gotta be better than buying out Salmons and sitting pat.

    • WhiteVegas

      I agree. Why wouldn’t we want Ennis and Capela on this team? Makes GV expendable, just resign de Colo for cheap as the 3rd PG. Capela gives us the long shot blocking big man with high upside. There are definitely roster spots for both of them, and it saves us money since picks 20 and 22 will be on cheap deals for 4 years.

      • Mexiballer

        Ennis and Capela sound good to me. But whatever Masai decides tonight is fine because he uses sound judgement with whatever he does. It is encouraging to hear that he is attempting to use this draft to upgrade the talent level of this team.

  • Dr. Scooby

    Nuggets re-acquiring Afflalo and shipping out youth seems…lateral and fairly directionless…

  • http://www.mattscottnelson.com mattscottnelson

    Does #22, #20 and the NYK 2016 1st + Demar get us in the Wiggins discussion?

    • Dr. Scooby

      I really like the idea of Wiggins playing on the Raptors, but I think 3 first round picks and an established young all-star is steep.

      • http://www.mattscottnelson.com mattscottnelson

        Maybe. My point is that MU has assets to take a swing that big if he wants to. The city would go bananas. (Assuming he also feels that Wiggins will be a wonderful basketball player of course).

    • Ho Tep

      Some combination might catch the falling Embiid.

      • arsenalist

        Embiid ain’t falling out of top three.

  • Dr. Scooby

    Word is that the Clippers are 50/50 about keeping their 1 round pick (#28).

    Wonder what it might take the raps to get it?

  • Xtremenator1

    I like the two picks. Gives them a chance to get a PF/ C in Payne, Capela, whomever, as well as a PG in Ennis so he can rep Canada and be a leader. We need big shot makers like him at the end of the game, and he could be a good fit with tutorship from Lowry and Vasquez. I don’t even mind Tayshaun because he helps on the defensive end (they need someone against Lebron, Melo, Johnson, Pierce, Etc.) and allows Ross to play off the bench; love his 3pt off the bench. Could you imagine a starting lineup of Lowry, Derozan, Tayshaun, Amir, and Jonas, with the bench of Ennis, Vasquez/ Fields, Ross/ Novak, Patterson, Payne/ Capela/ Hansborough/ Hayes. Let me tell ya, that’s a stacked team, and that’s two starting lineups honestly. Sure the bench is the starting lineup of the Jazz, but still them all coming off the bench could be great. So no it does make sense that they pick two rooks because they need to fill multiple slots on the team. I’d prefer Ariza or Tayshaun because he’s younger and more talented, but you get what you can get. The 22nd pick is also a nice toss in to get another guy. This is a deep draft man, and while there may be 5 possible “superstars”, there are a lot of potentially good role players or middle of the lineup guys. There’s a reason why people are calling this one of the deepest drafts of all-time, at least since the 80’s. This is a good deal, do it Masai!

    • Chewwy No Matthew

      Here’s the problem with this scenario. If you have Prince and that contract, you cannot sign all of Patterson, Lowry and Vasquez. Secondly, the Raptors are gonna have a boatload of free money after next season just based on the awful deals of Fields (8.5 million) and Hayes ( almost 6 million). As well Amir Johnson’s ( 7 million) and Tyler Hansborough’s ( 3.3 million) contracts are up. That is 24.8 million. Also, releasing Salmons gives us another 6 million right now. If we don’t sign any of Lowry, Patterson and Vasquez, do you want another sorry season after the great one we just had?

      • Xtremenator1

        Bro, I believe in Masai. This guy traded away Bargnani and Rudy Gay and actually got better. Based on what the article said, the Raps would still have cap room for all these guys minus Salmon’s including Prince and the picks, on the roster. The only issue is that they will be close to the tax, but he didn’t say they would go over. Its only for one year anyways, and after that they will have a boat load of cap room. Based on what analysts have been saying, if the Raps resigned Lowry, and qualified Pat and Vas, they would have around 7-8 mill left, which was why rumors got out that they may be interested in Ariza because he is around that price range; both Vas and Pat are rumored to be around 4 mill, with Lowry looking for 12, which means yes the cap would be met, but they woule not exceed it. With Tayshaun being the same cost, it won’t affect that cap like you say it would. Sure they wouldn’t be able to spend any more, but they won’t need to since they’d have a solid team, and next year they would free over 15 mill in space. Plus, Masai is amazing, I am sure he could do a deal where the Raptors free some cap room. Even if its trading Landry and a pick for an earlier spot or a cheaper expiring deal. Its not as bad as you think it is.

      • Stan Asham

        Why can’t they sign all 3? They have Patterson, Lowry and Vasquez’s bird rights. They can go over the cap to sign them.

        • Xtremenator1

          They can lol, and both Pat and Vas are open to taking less because they’re desperate to sign with the team. The only problem is that they won’t be able to sign anyone else at least until next year, when they would have enough money to sign a max guy if they tried to. This isn’t a problem, if it was I wouldn’t be in favor of the deal.

          • Stan Asham

            They would still have the MLE to sign someone. And that’s exactly what they will have even if they decide to keep Salmons. Even if they waive Salmons, their still over the cap. Only way they can get significantly under the cap is if they let Vasquez, Patterson go and decline the options on guys like Amir and Hansborough.

            • Xtremenator1

              Its not like they can’t sign everyone though. Kind of worried Lowry may go elsewhere with the way he’s been shifty lately, but besides that and not having a lot of room they should be fine. I don’t think its out of the possibility that they go into the luxury tax for one year either. Timmy has faith in Masai to get the job done.

        • webfeat

          It’ll work if GV takes the QO. He might be interested in cashing in as an unrestricted guy.

  • RaptorsOnMyMind

    Not sure if this can get traction but assuming we get the 22nd pick, can Raptors trade both 20th and 22th to Philly for their 10th pick? Philly has 6-7 picks in this years draft. They will land a potential super star @ number 3. They can surround the superstar with two more quality players from 1st round. Plus bunch of role players from 2nd round. On the other hand, raptors get the chance to pick a very high quality player at number 10.

  • Stan Asham

    I would imagine its Memphis hesitation to give up their first rounder that’s holding up this deal. Masai and the Raptors would’ve been all over this deal by now.

  • asifyouknow

    They do need him. The Raptors will probably wake up soon with DeColo as their PG….