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Key dates for Raptors offseason

The following are key dates to keep in mind for the Toronto Raptors over the next little while.

June 21 – NBA Draft

The Toronto Raptors do not currently own a pick but could trade in or purchase a pick. They have $5.1 million in allowable cash to trade, and there’s always the possibility to flip a future pick for a current one or pick up a pick in a more substantial trade. Even if they don’t, they’ll surely act quickly on undrafted free agents as they have the last two years.

June 25 – NBA Awards

Finalists have yet to be announced, but Dwane Casey will almost surely be one of the three finalists for Coach of the Year and it’s possible Fred VanVleet is a Sixth Man of the Year finalist.

June 29 – Qualifying offers

In order to hold restricted free agent rights on Fred VanVleet and Lucas Nogueira, the Raptors must tender them qualifying offers by this date, otherwise they’ll become unrestricted free agents. Players can sign the qualifying offer and play out the year on that one-year deal, but in most cases the player will explore restricted free agency and the qualifying offer only serves to give the Raptors the chance to match any offer sheet. VanVleet’s situation is complicated some by the Gilbert Arenas Provision.

For VanVleet, the qualifying offer is a no-brainer, as his qualifying offer is only $1.7 million. If he signed that – he won’t – the Raptors would be thrilled. Nogueira’s is $4.1 million, and with the luxury tax situation as it is, it seems likely that Nogueira will be allowed to become unrestricted. There would be a real risk of Nogueira signing at that number, and while it wouldn’t be a terrible deal in a vacuum, the Raptors would probably prefer to spend less on their third center slot.

The qualifying offer for Malcolm Miller is just another two-way contract with $50,000 guaranteed. It seems likely they’ll tender it to him.

July 1 – Free Agency

Teams can begin negotiating with free agents, signing offer sheets, signing minimum contracts, and so on. All non-minimum, unrestricted deals can be officially signed July 6.

Norman Powell’s extension kicks in July 1, as well.

July 6-17 – Summer League

The only name we know for sure will be suiting up for the Raptors are Alfonzo McKinnie and Malachi Richardson. Malcolm Miller and Lorenzo Brown could be in the plans as the team’s young free agents, and OG Anunoby could be given his first taste of Vegas action (it seems unlikely Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl would do a third tour, though it’s possible). Otherwise, these spots will be reserved for undrafted free agents, any picks the Raptors manage to make, and potential Raptors 905 targets. The usual.

July 13/14 – Trade exceptions expire

The Raptors hold a pair of trade exceptions left over from their deals last summer. One, from the Cory Joseph trade, is worth $6.1 million and expires July 14. The other, from the DeMarre Carroll trade, is worth $11.8 million and expires July 13.

These exceptions allow the Raptors to take on salary in a trade without sending out matching salary within the normal trade-matching rules. They can not be combined, nor can they be combined with any players. With the Raptors low on flexibility to add pieces in free agency, these could be pretty useful chips in the first two weeks of the offseason.

July 20 – McKinnie’s deal guarantees

McKinnie has a non-guaranteed $1.4-million salary for next year that guarantees on July 20. It’s essentially a team option they have until July 20 to pick up. McKinnie didn’t play much of a role this year, but if the team is encouraged by his progress and he has a strong Summer League, a young player on a minimum deal is an easy sell.

Fall considerations

The Raptors have until the first day of next season to sign Delon Wright to an extension, lest he become a restricted free agent in 2019. They also have until Oct. 31 to pick up their options on Anunoby, Poeltl, and Siakam, which are no-brainers, and Richardson, which would seem unlikely unless he has a strong summer.

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