According to information from the Raptors’ own PR staff, the team has waived center Sagaba Konate. Konate is a big inside presence still recovering from a surgically repaired knee. He was a historically impressive shot-blocker in college, though there are questions whether he had the size and mobility to compete in the NBA at the center spot. Konate seemed like he had an inside track on a two-way spot with the Raptors 905, but that is unlikely now that the Raptors have waived him. The Raptors making the move so far in advance of the October 20 deadline could mean the team wants a look at outside candidates for a two-way contract.
The Athletic’s Blake Murphy has hinted that Oshae Brissett seems destined for one of the team’s two two-way contracts. I thought Konate was a good bet for the other, but it seems that the team has other moves in mind. Wing Devin Robinson could also seize a two-way spot, as he would earn a bonus because of his Exhibit-10 contract, but Toronto will certainly see what options are available. There will be lots of end-of-roster church in the coming few days as teams need to trim their rosters from 20 to 15 before October 20. The Raptors currently sit at 19, so they will likely add one more non-guaranteed contract before the deadline. Expect another player to join the roster within a short period of time, although there’s no guarantee he’ll stick for long.
Among players currently on the roster, Robinson is by far the most likely to win the second two-way deal. Dewan Hernandez, Terence Davis, and Matt Thomas are almost certainties to make the actual Raptors’ roster, and non-rookie free agent signings like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Stanley Johnson — though criticized by Nick Nurse today — are likewise on guaranteed contracts with the Raptors. It’s possible that Isaiah Taylor signs a two-way contract with the Raptors 905, although he’s already a proven G-League star, averaging 21.0 points and 6.6 assists on incredible efficiency over two seasons for two teams in the G League. He’s only 25-years old, so he could decide a two-way contract is best for his development, but my guess is he’s more likely to end up in the NBA. Robinson played last year for the Capital City Go-Go in the G League, where he averaged 19.1 points and 8.1 rebounds on a two-way deal.
As for Konate, it’s possible that he still ends up with the Raptors 905. It’s doubtful he’ll be on a two-way deal, but even if he signs a standard G League contract, he’ll still qualify for the bonus money from his Exhibit-10, as long as he plays for the requisite 60 days with the 905. That the Raptors waived him indicates they think there could be better options available for a two-way deal. We’ll find out in the coming days what the team has up its sleeve.