Mid-Morning Coffee – Thu, Jul 6

AYO! | Dejounte Murray would create more problems than he'd solve | Some bad Siakam trade ideas

NBA Rumors: Bulls RFA Ayo Dosunmu Targeted by Raptors After Fred VanVleet Exit | Bleacher Report

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Raptors are interested in the restricted free agent even after signing Dennis Schröder to help replace VanVleet. Yet the Chicago Bulls could match any offer Toronto makes on Dosunmu this offseason.

Chicago has been fairly busy this offseason. It re-signed Nikola Vučević and Coby White and also brought in Jevon Carter, which means the backcourt could be somewhat crowded if it decides to bring back Dosunmu as well.

Still, it would be somewhat surprising if the Bulls didn’t want to keep him.

After all, this is a team that is coming off a loss in the play-in tournament. It didn’t look the part of an actual contender last season despite having DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine and might be better off giving some of the younger players more minutes with an eye toward the future.

Dosunmu fits the bill at 23 years old, especially since he showed flashes of his potential in his first two seasons.

The Illinois product was an All-Rookie Second Team selection in 2021-22 and then followed up by averaging 8.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in his second season. He can also guard multiple positions as a versatile defender and is a solid ball-handler who averaged just 1.2 turnovers per game last season.

His 31.2 percent clip from three-point range in 2022-23 leaves plenty to be desired, but he can impact the game in a number of ways.

Dosunmu could anchor the secondary unit for the Raptors or even fill in as part of the starting lineup as necessary. He wouldn’t be a franchise-altering addition, but he could help make up the gap on some of the teams near the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture after Toronto lost in the play-in tournament a season ago.

Raptors Should be Wary of Dejounte Murray’s Contract – Sports Illustrated

With Murray, the situation is complicated. The 26-year-old point guard has been widely connected to the Raptors dating back to before the NBA Draft. He’s been the key figure in the rumored Pascal Siakam-to-the-Atlanta-Hawks chatter. And yet, Murray’s contract should concern Toronto for the same reason O.G. Anunoby’s contract will.

Murray is set to make $17.7 million next season. For a player of his caliber, who averaged 20.5 points, 6.1 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals last season, that’s a discount. But it has its problems.

The new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement caps an extension offer to Murray at 140% of his current salary with 8% raises in each season. That means the max any team could offer Murray prior to his free agency next summer is four years, $111.1 million, a number he’d almost certainly scoff at.

Toronto, or any team with Murray’s Bird Rights, could go over that number when he hits unrestricted free agency in 2024, offering him a max contract of up to five years, $260.3 million. But should Murray’s team not consider him worth that number, there’s a risk he’d leave in free agency, the same way VanVleet did to a team with enough cap space to lure the 6-foot-4 guard.

Murray is talented. He’d bring the kind of ballhandling skill the Raptors are thirsting for. But trading Siakam for a player who isn’t going to be with Toronto long-term could be a very scary situation.

Five Pascal Siakam trade scenarios should Raptors move on from star | Toronto Sun

Siakam to the Charlotte Hornets:
Let’s get wild. The timeline doesn’t work since Charlotte’s two young stars are 20 and 21 respectively and Siakam would have to commit long term, but theoretically, Siakam, Thad Young and Christian Koloko for Mark Williams (taken 18 picks ahead of Koloko and far more promising) a sign-and-traded P.J. Washington, Terry Rozier and picks would surely appeal to the Raptors.