Alright, so, things have certainly picked up in the Western Conference. The Los Angeles Lakers are surrounding LeBron James with Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, and JaVale McGee, among others, Julius Randle darted for New Orleans as a result, and the Golden State Warriors responded to all of this by signing DeMarcus Cousins for $5.3 million. It’s crazy, even if all of it makes sense in its own way. For the Lakers, no, those deals don’t look like great complements, but James made a four-year commitment and a series of one-year, mid-salaried deals are great trade chips and keep the sheet clean for 2019 in case they can’t trade for Kawhi Leonard before then. Cousins is coming off a major injury, spent his whole career losing, and opted to do a partial season post-rehab where he can play a smaller role, get back to 100 percent, and still compete. The logic is clear, even with a big financial risk, and the blame here shouldn’t go on him but on poor handling of the salary cap spike (in part due to players refusing cap smoothing).
It all certainly makes the West look more interesting – and definitely funnier and wilder – than the East, which has been far quieter and now seems to be fairly wide open. The Celtics are the betting favorites and still have a lot of assets to play with. The 76ers are on the rise, the Bucks have Giannis Antetokounmpo, and a number of other teams are well-positioned to compete for wins into the high-40s. Most of them have been unheard from, working at the margins or waiting for the market to re-calibrate after the chaos of the first two days.
The Toronto Raptors, meanwhile, have been hardly a whisper outside of locking Fred VanVleet up. Their offseason was always likely to either start early or late in terms of meaningful changes, with draft night looking like a potential trade window and the moratorium probably cooling any major trade talks until later this week (although that wasn’t the case last year). The Raptors don’t have a lot of free agent work to do, armed with just the taxpayer mid-level exception and three free agents (Lucas Nogueira, Lorenzo Brown, and Malcolm Miller), and so they may be sitting back and waiting for bargains to slide through the first major wave of signings or for teams that miss out on key targets to re-establish interest in a trade for one of their pieces. It might be quiet a bit longer – their big moves outside of re-signing their own players last summer came after the moratorium lifted – though as we’ve seen, things can heat up in a hurry.
Again today, we’ll update this thread with relevant news and rumors as they pertain to the Raptors, as well as any deals that get reported at the bottom of the page. Give the July 1 and July 2 open threads a look over for some relevant cap details and all of the weekend’s Raptors rumors.
RESOURCES & REQUIRED READING
If you haven’t yet, go and read my free agency primer, which goes into a lot of the details about the Raptors’ cap situations and what they can and can’t do. I’ve also written a bunch on cap specifics and the offseason in general. Hopefully somewhere within these links is an answer to any question you may have:
- Here at Raptors Republic…
- At The Athletic (RR readers can get 20 percent off a subscription here)…
- A salary cap Q&A as a follow-up to my primer
- A deep explainer on Fred VanVleet’s restricted free agency
- What a cold market could mean for the Raptors’ bargain bin options
- Which Raptors are most likely to stay and go
- What went into the decisions on qualifying offers
As a quick refresher, this is what the Raptors’ cap sheet looks at right this second:
To help calibrate for free agency, here’s a chart containing all of the maximums and exception amounts, based on the new $101,869,000 salary cap (note that for the minimum salaries, those deals can run longer if cap space is used, but they max out at two years if a team is using the minimum player salary exception):
Here are a few other very useful resources:
- Mark Deeks’ offseason manifesto
- Jared Dubin’s free agency guide
- Jeff Siegel’s 30 teams, 30 days series
- The Dunc’d On podcast’s mock offseason
- Zach Lowe’s pulse-of-the-league primer
- Basketball Insiders’ team salary pages
- Larry Coon’s CBAFAQ
A reminder: There is a ton of information to sort through this time of year. Some of it will be legitimate, some of it will be misinformation. Always consider the source, their track record, and why a player/agent/team may want information out in the world.
- To come…
Wrap-up from the weekend
- There wasn’t much outside of the Fred VanVleet deal, save for continued rumblings that everything – and everyone – is on the table for the Raptors.
- They were also said to have expressed interest in Ersan Ilyasova, who wound up back in Milwaukee for the 20th time on a three-year, $21-million deal the Raptors couldn’t beat on money or situation (Ilyasova still lives there).
- It really seems like maybe some of the like was waiting for the market to re-calibrate following the Lakers madness and the first wave of signings.
REPORTED AGREEMENTS/CLOSE – TUESDAY
The following deals have either been reported as done or in the finalization stages. Until noon on July 6, nothing is absolutely locked in (remember DeAndre Jordan?), but if it’s on this list, it’s done per a reporter on the trusted list.
- Devin Booker, Suns, 5 years, $158M extension (expected this weekend) (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Dante Exum, Jazz, 3 years, $33M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Avery Bradley, Clippers, 2 years (2nd low guarantee), $25M (Shams Charania)
- Raul Neto, Jazz, 2 years (2nd unguaranteed), $4.4M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Kevon Looney, Warriors, 1 year, $1.6M (Chris Haynes)
- Tyreke Evans, Pacers, 1 year, $12M (Shams Charania)
- Dwight Howard, Wizards, 1 year, $5.4M (Jared Weiss)
- Jeff Green, Wizards, 1 year, $2.5M (David Aldridge)
- Michael Carter-Williams, Rockets, 1 year, $1.8M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
Trades & Other
- The 76ers have acquired Wilson Chandler, a 2021 second-round pick, and the right to swap 2022 second-round picks from the Nuggets for “minimal” cash consideration. (Shams Charania, Adrian Wojnarowski, and Jake Fischer)
- The Nets will buy out Dwight Howard once that trade becomes official after the moratorium.
Deals from Sunday-Monday
The following deals were reported over the weekend.
- Chris Paul, Rockets, 4 years, $160M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- LeBron James, 4 years (3+PO), $153.3M (Klutch Sports)
- Nikola Jokic, Nuggets, 5 years, $148M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Paul George, Thunder, 4 years (3+PO), $137M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Aaron Gordon, Magic, 4 years, $64M (Shams Charania)
- Kevin Durant, Warriors, 2 years (1+PO), $61.5M (Shams Charania)
- Will Barton, Nuggets, 4 years (3+PO), $54M (Chris Mannix and Chris Haynes)
- Derrick Favors, Jazz, 2 years (2nd unguaranteed), $36M (Shams Sharania)
- Jerami Grant, Thunder, 3 years (2+PO), $27M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- DeAndre Jordan, Mavericks, 1 year, $24M (Marc Stein)
- Doug McDermott, Pacers, 3 years, $22M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Ersan Ilyasova, Bucks, 3 years (3rd unguaranteed), $21M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Julius Randle, Pelicans, 2 years (1+PO), $18M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Fred VanVleet, Raptors, 2 years, $18M (Shams Charania)
- Joe Harris, Nets, 2 years, $16M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Trevor Ariza, Suns, 1 year, $15M (Shams Charania)
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lakers, 1 year, $12M (Chris Haynes)
- J.J. Redick, 76ers, 1 year, $12M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Marco Belinelli, Spurs, 2 years, $12M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Aron Baynes, Celtics, 2 years (1+PO), $11M (Shams Charania)
- Rudy Gay, Spurs, 1 year, $10M (Shams Charania)
- Rajon Rondo, Lakes, 1 year, $9M (Sam Amick and Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Glenn Robinson III, Pistons, 2 years (1+TO), $8.3M, (Shams Charania)
- Mario Hezonja, Knicks, 1 year, $6.5M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Seth Curry, Blazers, 2 years (1+PO), $6M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Anthony Tolliver, Timberwolves, 1 year, $5.8M (Shams Charania)
- DeMarcus Cousins, Warriors, 1 year, $5.3M (Shams Charania and Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks, 1 year, $5M (Shams Charania)
- Lance Stephenson, Lakers, 1 year, $4.5M (Shams Charania and Chris Haynes)
- Ed Davis, Nets, 1 year, $4.4M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Nerlens Noel, Thunder, 2 years (1+PO), $3.3M (Shams Charania)
- Derrick Jones Jr., Heat, 2 years, $3.2M (Ira Winderman)
- Elfrid Payton, Pelicans,1 year, $2.7M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Jose Calderon, Pistons, 1 year, $2.4M (Chris Haynes)
- JaVale McGee, Lakers, 1 year, $2.4M (Chris Haynes)
- Gerald Green, Rockets, 1 year, $2.4M (Mark Berman and Shams Charania)
- Derrick Rose, Timberwolves, 1 year, $2.4M (Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania)
- Omri Casspi, Grizzlies, 1 year, $2.2M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Mike Scott, Clippers, 1 year, $1.7M (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- Nik Stauskas, Blazers, 1 year, $1.6M (Chris Haynes)
- Luke Kornet, Knicks, 1 year, $1.4M (Marc Berman)
- Brad Wanamaker, Celtics, 1 year, $838K (Adrian Wojnarowski)
- The Pacers released Al Jefferson
- The Lakers renounced Julius Randle
- The Wizards claimed Thomas Bryan off waivers from the Lakers