(With JV and 2012 pick cap hold, the Raptors really only have about $11M in cap space - not $17M as reported above.)LOOKING AHEAD
Now 39 games into the season, Casey has a pretty good feel for what he has and what he doesn’t and without mentioning any names, gave a pretty good indication of what he is going to be looking for in the off-season when Bryan Colangelo taps into that $17 million or so he has at his disposal in free agency.
First and foremost Casey wants guys who knows the league and aren’t shy when things get physical.
“Experience along with the young guys coming in is going to be important,” Casey said. “I don’t think we can bring in a lot of young guys in next season and expect to make the big steps that we want to make next year. I think we’ll be looking for experienced guys, guys who are tough, battle tested and been through the wars, I think that is important and I know Bryan has his eye on some guys who are going to be free agents next year.”
So forget the young improving guys. Casey already has those. He wants tried and tested.
“Mostly toughness and shooting are two of the keys,” he said. “We have a big man coming in, we have some perimeter players that are going through the natural progression of improvement with DeMar (DeRozan) getting stronger and bigger. James Johnson’s improvement. We’ve got some pretty good pieces as far as that’s concerned.”
Source: Toronto Sun
Those are some serious quotes from Casey. Those quotes make me think the trade route will be the way the Raptors are looking to go this off season. Free agency (list found here) does not appear to have many players you could classify as "... experienced guys, guys who are tough, battle tested and been through the wars...." although there could be a few (guessing on my part!):
PG: Hinrich, Nash, Felton, Miller (none would be classified as PG of the future though)
SG: Allen, Fields, Lee
SF: Barnes, Chandler, Nocioni
PF: Too many as is
C: Gray, Magloire
Casey's comments imply to me that Aaron Gray most definitely should be back - I hope it happens. An argument could be made for Magloire as the 3rd stringer with Alabi sent packing.
What players available through free agency or trade do you think Casey's comments would be applicable to?
***Keep in mind this is total speculation - toughness and shooting are the only criteria***