The roster is taking a pretty clear shape, with 14 names now more or less locked in. As after all signings, it’s worth taking a look at where the team stands in terms of its roster, rotation and salary cap situation.

All salary data comes via Sham Sports, except in the case of reported deals, where assumptions are stated. Help sorting through exceptions and the like comes via Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ.

Cap Sheet
Because terms are not publicly disclosed, we’re left to make a few assumptions about deals that are worth noting before we get into the numbers.

*Kyle Lowry’s contract is structured 12-12-12-12 (his first year salary could be as low as $11.25M or as high as $14.1M)
*Patrick Patterson’s contract is structured 6-6-6 (his first year salary could be as low as $5.58M or as high as $6.49M)
*Greivis Vasquez’s contract is structured 6.5-6.5 (his first year salary could be as low as $6.265M or as high as $6.755M)
*James Johnson’s contract is structured 2.5-2.5 (his first year salary could be as low as $2.445M or as high as $2.56M)
*Dwight Buycks’ $816,482 salary will be waived before the July 22 guarantee date
*Diante Garrett’s $915,243 salary will be waived before the season
*Bruno Caboclo has been signed at 120 percent of the rookie scale ($1.46M), not 100 percent. The team tweeted he was signed “to rookie scale contract” but that wording is somewhat vague, and teams give players 120 percent almost 100 percent of the time.
*Ditto for Bebe Nogueira, who it sure sounds like is coming over this season.
*DeAndre Daniels is headed to Europe for the season, which sure sounds like Plan A right now.

The Books
Given all of those somewhat safe but not perfect assumptions, here’s what I have the books looking like at present:

Player Cap Type Amount
Kyle Lowry Free Agent Contract $12,000,000
DeMar DeRozan Contract $9,500,000
Amir Johnson Contract $7,000,000
Greivis Vasquez Free Agent Contract $6,500,000
Landry Fields Contract $6,250,000
Patrick Patterson Free Agent Contract $6,000,000
Chuck Hayes Contract $5,958,750
Lou Williams Contract $5,450,000
Jonas Valanciunas Contract $3,678,360
Tyler Hansbrough Contract $3,326,235
Terrence Ross Contract $2,793,960
James Johnson Free Agent Contract $2,500,000
Bruno Caboclo 120% of Rookie Scale $1,458,360
Bebe Nogueira 120% of Rookie Scale $1,762,680
Marcus Camby Buyout $646,609
SUBTOTAL 14-man roster $74,824,954
SALARY CAP ROOM $63,065,000 -$11,759,954
LUXURY TAX ROOM $76,829,000 $2,004,046

Can they still add?
Technically, the Raptors can still add salary despite being over the salary cap. Johnson will eat into a chunk of their mid-level exception since he came in above the bi-annual exception, meaning the Raptors have the following exceptions to use:

Remaining mid-level exception: $2.805M
Bi-annual exception: $2.077M
Trade exceptions: I believe the Raptors have a $1.22M exception from the Andrea Bargnani deal and a $4.58M one from the Rudy Gay deal, the former of which expires today. There may also have been one created in the Steve Novak deal that would be good for one year, thought I can’t confirm for certain.

Will they still add?
Probably not. With just $2M in breathing room beneath the tax, the Raptors have a scary hammer that could fall on them – use the MLE or BAE (aww) to cross the tax line, and an $80.829M “hard cap” is placed on the team until next July, meaning they can’t go a dollar above that amount or acquire players in a sign-and-trade. There’s always the possibility the team is okay crossing the tax line and trying to get beneath it later, but it seems likely the budget has now shrunk to $2M to fill the final roster spot.

What’s the absolute most money they could have beneath the tax?
All those assumptions we made earlier? Let’s flip them – everyone, including the rookies, has signed for the absolute minimum first-year salary given the parameters of their deals. The team also uses the stretch provision on both Landry Fields and Chuck Hayes. That would all clear an additional $10M, leaving the Raptors with still no cap space but $12.77M to add pieces before they hit the tax. They couldn’t just go out and sign someone with that money (they’d still be limited to exceptions and trades) but that’s how much they could theoretically add. This is an insane scenario, and is only included for fun.

The Roster
So here’s how the roster looks at 15:

PG: Kyle Lowry
G: Greivis Vasquez, Lou Williams
Wing: DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, Bruno Caboclo
F: Landry Fields, James Johnson
PF: Patrick Patterson, Amir Johnson, Tyler Hansbrough
C: Jonas Valanciunas, Chuck Hayes, Bebe Nogueira

That’s a weird way of classifying players, I guess, but the Raptors have a handful of versatile pieces who can play multiple positions, meaning looking at things in the standard five-position way doesn’t help all that much. That’s not a bad roster, and even if you don’t agree with some of the dollar amounts on the signings, it’s a slightly deeper one than last year and one that, if the development plans move forward as hoped, will be better, too.

As for the 15th spot, if the team uses it they could really justify using it on any position now. Nogueira has filled the third center spot and Johnson fills the “big wing” need, and even if you want to look at things by traditional position, there’s no obvious hole that needs shoring up. You could convince me another point guard, at the minimum, would be nice Lowry injury insurance, but I wouldn’t call it a need given that Lou Trill can play some one in a pinch (Scott Machado could be the Brazilian Westbrook to Bruno and Bebe’s Brazilian KD and Ibaka).

PG: Lowry, Vasquez
SG: DeRozan, Williams
SF: Ross, Caboclo, Fields, J. Johnson
PF: Patterson, A. Johnson, Hansbrough
C: Valanciunas, Hayes, Nogeuira

The Rotation
Let’s take a look at who may get what kind of minutes given the team’s current construction.

Lowry – played 36.2 MPG last season, team would probably like that to be a shade below 34. (72 games x 34 MPG = 2,448)
DeRozan – played 38.2 MPG last season and is 4th in the NBA in minutes since 2010-11. This HAS to come down, maybe to the 36 range. (78 games x 36 MPG = 2,808)
Ross – played 26.7 MPG last season, a number that increased late in the year but dropped for the playoffs. 30 a night seems a good progression. (78 games x 30 MPG = 2,340)
A. Johnson – played 28.8 MPG last season but spent most of the year banged up and might be well served by having this scaled back to about 25, where he spent 2010-2012. (75 games x 25 MPG = 1,875)
Valanciunas – played 28.2 MPG last season after 23.9 as a rookie. With his foul rate declining and his game improving, 32 a night seems a realistic goal. (78 games x 32 MPG = 2,496)
Total: 29 games missed, 11,967 minutes

Key Reserves
Vasquez – played 21.5 MPG as a Raptor last season but saw that edge up late in the year and jump to 27.1 for the playoffs. Given how well he and Lowry play together, 25 a night (the bulk of the PG-SG backup minutes) seems right. (75 games x 25 MPG = 1,875)
Patterson – played 23.3 MPG as a Raptor last season but bumped to 28.4 in the playoffs. An even split at the four between he and Amir is a good plan, giving him 24 a night. (72 games x 24 MPG = 1,728)
Total: 17 games missed, 3,603 minutes / 46 games missed, 15,570 minutes

Other Rotation Pieces
Williams – cleans up leftover minutes at both guard spots, averaging about 12.7 minutes. That seems low, but it’s all that’s available so long as Lowry and Vasquez are healthy.
J. Johnson – fills in at both forward spots, averaging about 18 minutes.
Fields – grabs the final minutes at the three, averaging 10 minutes but only getting in a bit over half the games. That would still be more than he played last year.
Bruno – grabs the final minutes at the three and a few at the four. We’re talking Buycks/Stone minutes here though.
Bebe – more or less the same, but at center.
Hansbrough – clean-up time at the four and some undersized five, but I can’t imagine he sniffs the thousand minutes he got last year.
Hayes – fills in those final minutes at the pivot.

What I’m saying is…
These all seem like a bunch of conservative estimates, right? Well, that’s the entire minutes base allocated right there, as shown in this quick and dirty table. The big difference between this and reality is that injuries will happen and we can’t predict who they’ll happen to.

lowry 2448 derozan 2600 ross 2340 amir 1500 valanciunas 2496
vasquez 975 vasquez 900 derozan 208 pat 1728 amir 375
williams 513 williams 436 jj 842 jj 508 hayes 400
fields 410 hansbrough 150 hansbrough 500
caboclo 136 caboclo 50 bebe 165

The point with that stupid exercise was basically to show that the team is already cutting into minutes for a lot of guys as currently planned, which speaks to the improved depth. It also, however, means decisions of win-now against development, and possibly passing on adding a 15th man.

Again, those are really rough assumptions, they’re not meant to do anything but show the minutes crunch on a roster when you don’t assume more than a handful of short-term injuries.

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68 Responses to “Raptors Update: Salary Cap, Roster and Rotation”

  1. plaid coast

    This is a great breakdown. It’s kind of disappointing that Bruno probably won’t be able to just be thrown into the lineup for large minutes like DD was. I think the only way to really develop a player is to give them a lot of minutes. Can’t wait to see how this kid does in summer league

    Also, I would be a little surprised if PP hit 1500 minutes but I suppose it has more to do with how Amir’s ankles look next year. It would be really great if he could put the ankle problems behind him.

    • 2damkule

      agree re. the development aspect, which is why i thought it was a bit odd that they immediately said he’d be joining the team. my guess is that they value having him receive their attention at what is a key period in his development, vs. leaving it to various coaches in either europe, brazil or the D-league. having him close by so he can be mentored & eased into what will be a drastically different lifestyle will be of help to him from a personal growth perspective. being able to learn from the coaching staff & vets on the team in practice will ease him into a good development tract. i’d rather he be eased along slowly, and correctly, than thrown into a situation that he’s not possibly equipped to deal with.

      • Romeo Montague

        My guess..kinda hard to develop when u don’t own a D-league team so it’s not structured as a minor league of the raptors..u get sent down and they use u as u see fit..maybe next year we’ll invest In a D league ..where they run our plays etc.

      • Rap fan 2

        Joining the big club will provide him with one on one guidance and mentoring. Also, with Bruno being a gym rat he can have easy access to the gym, weight room and all other support facilities like personal trainers and medical staff. Any other support like in language tutoring, proficient dieting will only help bring your prodigy along faster.

    • IceManLikeGervin

      DD, a top 10 selection, had NCAA experience……do the math….Bruno isn’t even ready for summer league much less a NBA regular season game….step your basketball IQ up a level or 2, 3, 4, 5….

      • jjdynomite

        So-called “fans” like you are the fucking worst. The Greek freak (Giannis in Milwaukee) had a damn fine rookie season with absolutely no experience Stateside. And guess who is built almost exactly like him?

        Again, the first summer league game is tomorrow evening. So why don’t you save talking shit until after the game is over, if Bruno shows that he “isn’t even ready for summer league”. After all, everybody knows that one game tells everything we need to know about a player’s future.

        • IceManLikeGervin

          Let you tell it… advertise & resell it…..the Greek Freak’s game was & is far more mature than Bruno’s right now- recognize game or remain mentally lame…there are levels to this, it’s not checkers but chess….I digress….

          • bizzy

            Wtf are you talking about, your just using platitudes. Here I can do it too, game recognize game and you looking kind of familiar and bitches be crazy.

      • Nathan

        Agree with JJdynomite, man. Settle down. You obviously were typing this with 9 dicks in your mouth. You have no idea whether he’s ready for summer league and you’re talking like you do……….with 9 dicks in your mouth.

    • Shifty

      Roster depth unfortunately means our rookies get little to no time. D-league for them
      Also can’t see where Fields gets his.
      If Amir stays healthy at all, I don’t want to see Hayes on the court. PP, JJ and TH are more than enough to eat all available PF minutes, so that Amir gets all backup C duties. After starting at PF of course.

  2. Brett

    Great job! My guess is Vazquez will play the same number of minutes as last year and Lou Williams will play 18-20 if he’s healthy, taking away from Vazquez when the match-ups are proper and keeping DeRozan fresh. Otherwise looks about right!

    • hotshot

      My hunch is that Lou Williams will be stealing some minutes from all the guards (fully recovered from injury + a contract year will make him very hungry to prove to all that he is back).

      • Joey Drummond

        Agreed. Lots of people are sleeping on Lou Williams. He is super competitive and played great in Philly. If his knees can handle 20 mins a night, he’ll be out to show the world he deserves another contract.

        • DrDeRozan

          I agree if Casey gives him a shot. If GV and LW both play at a high level, we could use one of them as a trade chip in a roster upgrade at another position (Another big maybe).

    • IceManLikeGervin

      Get ready for a lot of Lowry/Williams backcourts from Casey….making teams match up to the Raptors not the other way around……Lou, if 100% recovered & healthy, is better than Vasquez….

  3. hg

    why not sign someone like ekpe udoh? low-risk, had/has potential, blocks shots….at worse he’s six fouls.

  4. paul

    9 man rotation:
    Lowry, Vasquez
    Derozan, Lou Will
    T-Ross, J Johnson
    A Johnson, 2Pat

    Reserves: Psycho T, Fields, Chuck Hayes, Caboclo (will probably spend most of the year in D league), Bebe (maybe)

    The 9 man rotation is pretty decent and I dont think there will be an issue with minutes. An upgrade over psycho t/hayes would be nice, maybe bebe can be the 4th big on this team.

    • Shaun

      Seeing the lineup like this makes me feel that the raps should take a flier on a 3rd string PG (Buycks, Kabongo, Machado) from summer league, just for the garbage time moments.

      • Chewwy No Matthew

        The kid from Princeton ( T J BRay) is a solid player. Very smart, plays hard and hits the three. Would like to see him in the 15th spot

    • IceManLikeGervin

      Someone with reality based basketball foresight not fanatic fandom projections…..Bruno & Bebe will spend a lot of time on the inactive list or D League in 2014-15…not on the court in regular season games..

  5. Tuneyain

    T-Ross better be launching away at those 3 pointers next season, with Lowry taking 3-4 attempts and Derozan only 1-2 attempts, we need to spread the floor more with sharp-shooting wings and make teams pay for double-teaming.

      • Tuneyain

        Playoffs against the Nets.. if you watched, they double-teamed every wing player, especially DeMar Derozan. That was their game plan from game 1. It was too easy for them to limit DD’s scoring.

    • jjdynomite

      JJ’s definitely an impressive athlete. I hope he keeps his head on straight for the rest of the team’s chemistry’s sake. He is pretty chiseled, in stark juxtaposition to another headcase, Blatche.

      However, I haven’t totally forgotten about JJ’s out-of-gameplan 3-pointers, especially during Triano’s time. And these weren’t Greivis YOLO 3s either, these were more on par with Amir’s sloooowww release “summer” 3s — that clanged and sucked.

      All things considering, there’s likely no way Masai could have signed youthful defense-first SF studs like Tucker, Aminu, XHenry or Wes Johnson for the reasonable $$$ that JJ will be taking home. Which is due to Johnson being a headcase.

      • raptorstand

        JJ is a fing headcase. Horrible signing , the second jaw dropping decision by Masai. This guy needs to be sat down by the whole team and made to understand that he is not first string never going to be first string and needs to hustle for the minutes he gets. No stupid hero 3 pointers and then the stupid faces. This guy gets out of line he needs to be stepped on. If James Johnson ruins this dressing room it will be a damn shame. If this guy starts with the faces , the Jonas is back to the faces, then Demar gets faces , then Terence makes faces and we got a team of faces. First time I see that whiney bs face im gonna puke. James Johnson you better be a man.

        • Shaun

          My thought is Masai will sit him down like he did Lowry last season and let him know things aren’t going to be like his last time around. New leadership and new expectations. He’ll hopefully have a Lowry like turn around which would make our team very very dangerous #GoRaps

          • raptorstand

            The first time he makes that bs face that we might have broke Jonas of making James Johnson should be immediately benched for 5 games. The second face ten games and the third suspended for the season. These young guys need leadership not whiny posers like James Johnson, cant say enough how much I was hoping this would never happen. Hes got a lot to prove in my books and I don’t expect much.

              • jjdynomite

                Jokes! Unfortunately, given JJ’s FG% on the Raptors of .464 (.240 3P%!) in 2010-2011 and .450 (.317 3P%) in 2011-2012, one could say that JJ was mostly mugging after missed shots.

                I know it sounds like I’m contradicting myself; I like the guy, especially defensively, but I wouldn’t call him our saviour or anything, especially given his track record.

            • Guest

              Lol! Face suspensions!

              “Coach, why am I benched?”

              “Your frigging face, now sit down.”

              If there was ever a grievable suspension, this might be it.

        • jjdynomite

          That could be all well-and-true, raptorstand, but other than his wife accusing him of domestic violence, he not only played within the system in Memphis but his teammates — including once-headcases like Zach Randolph — raved about his team-first attitude.

          Fact is, the man is 6’9 and 245 pounds. That is equal to the height and more than the weight of our nominal PF/Cs of 2Pat (235 pounds) and Amir (210 pounds). And yet JJ has the athleticism and tenaciousness to easily stay up on big SFs like Joe Johnson, LeBron, Pierce, George, Ariza, Deng, etc.

          I assume you watched what happened in the playoffs when DeMar or Terrence had to guard Joe Johnson. It wasn’t pretty. This is the Raptors’ unfortunate flaw in the roster: our starting swingmen are slight guys. JJ is a built like a tank, and he has black belt athleticism — as opposed to “Lionel Ritchie” Fields. Let’s hope JJ brings only positivity now that he is on a Raptors team that is trending upwards, as opposed to those D.O.A. squads that Colangelo put together.

          • raptorstand

            All valid points jj , but I have kept an eye on him with Sac and Memphis and he thinks hes a bigtime player in this league and he isn’t he is a solid piece that if coached correctly could and I mean could be a junkyard dog presence . He has the body , he has the tools , but I don’t care what you say a ten cent head will ruin all the good that he could have. If he wrecks this locker room I will be pissed.

            • Mexiballer

              One guy is not going to wreck the locker room. You think Masai or Casey or Lowry and Demar would let that happen. Be serious.

              • raptorstand

                I don’t know if you ever played sports, but somebody starts whining , making snide remarks ,bitching about playing time, it soon becomes a cancer. I am not saying that JJ is going to do that, but I have seen nothing that shows me his ten cent head has changed. I don’t like this signing at all. He needs to understand he has a role, and he needs to perform that role to the best of his abilities, and no more.

                • Mexiballer

                  Yes I play team sports and yes I know what trouble a head case team mate can cause. Johnson can and might cause problems. My point is that Masai, Casey and everyone else is well aware of this and they are not going to let one guy start screwing up the locker room or team chemistry with all the hard work they have put into this thing. He either gets on board and joins the team or he will be dealt with swiftly.

                  He will be on a short leash and they will nip it in the bud.

        • Nathan

          I think you just came up with the new team name. THE TORONTO FACES. The logo on each person’s jersey is their ‘Face’.

          • raptorstand

            All I am saying is the guy got a pay day. He is secure for the rest of his life. He doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone .All he has to do is lay it on the floor for the Toronto Raptors. He doesn’t have to be the man , he can be a real team player that plays for the other guys on the floor , not for himself and getting his. To me the guy has a ten cent head. Maybe just maybe the guy can become a solid presence on the floor , without the garbage.

  6. SkyHiRaptor

    Great analysis Blake – should be interesting to see who moves up/down these depth chart simulations through the year…love to see Bruno push for more minutes based on defense and hitting the open shot (….JJ? hope his shot has improved since last stint here)

  7. blackjitsu

    I agree with everything you state, but feel that keeping Buycks fits as well. If they send Bruno, and possibly Bebe to D-League sending Buycks with them would not be a bad thing. Also, theirs no guarantees on Lou’s health…I guess summer league will answer questions.

  8. DrDeRozan

    Really wanted to see Carter back on the roster, but I think with the James Johnson signing that is out of the question, hopefully he is a much better player and teammate in his second go round with the Raptors

    • Chewwy No Matthew

      In no way shape or form did I want to see the guy who quit on this team and put us in a hole for many years come back. He doesn’t deserve Toronto fans

  9. IceManLikeGervin

    Bruno & Bebe will not see the court in any type of regular rotation barring a rash of injuries….those 2 are rawer than sushi…the Raptors are a playoff team not a lottery bound one…time to change your writing mentality…..Bruno will be exposed at Vegas as a massive project…..Bebe seems injury prone….time will tell…..

  10. IceManLikeGervin

    James Johnson…………….how long before he is in Casey’s dog house again?

    • Chewwy No Matthew

      I was thinking the same thing as soon as I heard of this signing but I feel that the tightness of this group along with leaders such as Lowry will make sure Johnson will fall in line. He would be stupid to mess this up because he will play a key backup role on this team but there is depth if he acts like a fool. At the end of the day, I like this signing better than getting Blatche.

      • IceManLikeGervin

        JJ doesn’t take ish from no one remember he is a black belt karate expert he does as he pleases…..if he’s getting regular rotation minutes he will most likely be happy…if he’s not getting regular rotation minutes he may act out…..

      • armchairqb14

        Way better than Blatche, but probably not putting them over the top. I like the signing.

        • bizzy

          Stop being such a negative Nancy people make mistakes, who appointed you mr self righteous authority who we can and cannot have. Apparently Lowry wasn’t an angel before the raps but he seems reformed and and the same can happen to JJ.

          • raptorstand

            I would prefer Debbie Downer, I will say no more your right. I just hope James Johnson bleeds Raptor and makes players around him better.

      • Mapko

        Another important factor (IMO), Raps from 2010-2012 were to to put it mildly not very good. To be honest nobody really excelled. Maybe JJ was trying too much seeing what a shitty team we had.
        Let’s hope maturity kicked in as well (happened to Kyle, so why not).
        I am sure Masai had a “little chat” before signing, explaining that past is past, we all put team first now.
        Could JJ be less “offensively challenged” version of Lance Stevenson?
        All in all, a lot of upside, low risk signing.

  11. doncity

    Really liking the James Johnson signing – gives us an athletic body off the bench who can play defense, block shots and score a little bit. I was one of those fans who wanted Vince back (even though I never really thought that would happen) but JJ fills the same need at much less cost. For those who say Johnson’s a “head case” – obviously he wasn’t that crazy to begin with if the Raps are willing to bring him back as a free agent.

  12. Trivial

    I am not sure why you guys expect Lou to get many minutes? The reason he was traded from Atlanta, was because he didn’t fit in Budenholzer’s tough defensive system. If he can’t play in Atlanta’s defensive system, why would he get any significant time in Casey’s? He will replace Novak’s minutes that’s all.

    • jjdynomite

      I wouldn’t write off LouWill just yet. Last season he was still recovering from shredding his knee and subsequent ACL surgery. That is not an easy injury to come back from, especially someone whose game is predicated on quickness.

      The reason he was traded from Atlanta was for cap room, not his lack of defense. It’s not like Jeff Teague is frickin’ Chris Paul or anything.

  13. Gary73

    I still think the Raps need to face up to the issue that TRoss has more potential, on O &D, at the SG. He can provide 3 pointer prowess and lock down defence at a position more suited to his 6’6″ stature. I think we need to face up to moving DD. In fact I’d be seeing if he could help make the Love – Cavs deal work.



  1.  Sorting out the 15th roster spot candidates | Raptors Republic: ESPN TrueHoop Network Blog
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