Morning Coffee – Thu, Jul 21

Ujiri and the Raptors cap/offseason | Patterson's mom likes Toronto

Cap Sheet Update: DeRozan specifics, VanVleet guarantee, and a 2017 look-ahead | Raptors Republic

Reports varied on the exact numbers of DeMar DeRozan’s new five-year deal, ranging from $137.5M (Michael Grange of Sportsnet and Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star) to $139M (some U.S. outlets) to $145M (most U.S. outlets). The assumption I was working on was that $137.5M was the base, $139M included “likely” incentives (which count against the cap), and $145M included “unlikely” incentives (which only count for luxury tax, not salary cap purposes).

Well, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (the authority on such things), DeRozan’s cap hit is only $137.5M. It’s still possible that incentives could push it higher, but for our purposes, we’re now going to go with $137.5M for the cap rather than $139M. This also means that the “discount” DeRozan gave the Raptors form his total max is just shy of 10 percent, which is certainly not nothing.

Also notable in DeRozan’s contract structure is that the fifth year is a player option, and that the Raptors opted to max out the first year of the deal and then pay him a set amount each year beyond that. Maxing out the first year made plenty of sense given his salary wouldn’t affect their cap space this year, anyway, and from there they could have tried to maximize money in a certain year (dropping it for next summer and then increasing later, or increasing early to drop it later in the deal). Instead, they went for certainty and an even spread (this is basically the most they could have it be a set annual salary, since they couldn’t push Year 1 any higher). It also means DeRozan will make 28.2 percent of the cap this year and an estimated 27.2 percent next year.



Masai Ujiri’s Free Agency Patience Comes with Its Own Hidden Risk | VICE Sports

That Biyombo is now gone should be instructive to Ujiri and Raptors fans alike. It is not necessarily a bad thing, as it is tough to imagine a world where paying him and Jonas Valanciunas north of $15 million annually would be an efficient use of resources. It does, however, naturally limit the amount of cohesion the Raptors can have from year to year.

This is where Ujiri must do some daunting calculus, marrying basic risk-reward navigation with the team’s long-term objectives. Yes, it must be frustrating that Ujiri could not tack on another year or two on Biyombo’s contract to maintain club control, even if it would have resulted in a higher annual salary (Biyombo had a player option on his contract that he could have opted into this summer, assuming that he hated his agent). Now, Casey has to hope Valanciunas is ready for full-time centre duties on the defensive end, while praying some combination of Sullinger, Lucas Nogueira and maybe Jakob Poeltl can replace Biyombo’s overall production, if not its specific composition. (The Raptors will simply not be able to replace Biyombo’s rim protection and shot blocking.)

On the other hand, Ujiri is likely thrilled he did not do something foolhardy like guarantee Scola or Anthony Bennett a second year. The same fiscal conservatism that cost the Raptors Biyombo—without a multi-year deal, the Raptors did not own his early-Bird Rights, which meant a solid season would virtually guarantee his stay in Toronto was brief—has also kept the Raptors’ cap sheet fairly clean.

The contracts for DeMarre Carroll (age, health), DeMar DeRozan ($!!!) and Terrence Ross (Terrence Ross) may not work out in the end, but the team’s long-term commitments are all to players whom the Raptors are still very much glad to have around.


@demar_derozan @kyle_lowry7 Lookin' good, fellas. #WeTheNorth

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Patterson’s mom happy with Toronto’s family feel | Glasgow Daily Times

When Patrick Patterson joined the Toronto Raptors two years ago, his mother admits she did not know coach Dwane Casey was a former Kentucky player or assistant coach.

“I just did not know that at all,” said Tywanna Patterson. “But I love Dwane Casey. He lets young men play their game. The NBA is a little different from college. In college, whatever the coach says goes. In the NBA, there is more leeway and if a player has an idea for setting up a play or something, the coaches listen.

“Dwane is a good family man. He creates a family atmosphere and I love that. I want a coach to love my son or have his best interests at heart. Dwane does that. He takes care of my kid.”


DeMar hasn't seemed to grasp the concept of the Twitter mirror. #WeTheNorth

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If you a real #raptors fan, who dis? #wethenorth #raptorstrivia (bonus points for the dude he's boxing out) #pickingitupanotch

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