The Toronto Raptors will be a popular pick for worst record in the NBA in preseason chatter. That both means that the Raptors are unlikely to see a free agent that will make enough of a difference to justify and that it is a really sad thing to be a Raptors fan right now.
Here's a look at the Raptors' salary cap levels over the past six seasons.
The Raptors have closely mirrored the tax line is recent years. Expect that to change: a total rebuild will mean a drop in salary in the immediate term.
Heading into free agency, the Raptors have a cap figure of $47 million with the leaguewide team salary cap set at $58 million and the luxury tax line at $70 million.
The Raptors' free agents are:
- Sonny Weems (restricted, but in Lithuania for the full season
- Reggie Evans
- Julian Wright
- Alexis Ajinca
- Joey Dorsey
Toronto could make a play to keep Ajinca, who the team acquired from the Mavericks in a very weird post-Peja Stojakovic buy-out trade. Weems' future in the NBA will be decided next year (if he returns from Europe). Wright continues to struggle to find his way, and Dorsey is a fifth big man on most teams. Evans will likely latch on with a better team; his rebounding remains top-flight, and plenty of teams need help on the glass.
With the team's No. 5 overall pick (Jonas Valanciunas) remaining in Europe, Toronto will be waiting until at least 2012-13 to get a real sense of where the team is. That can't be fun for DeMar DeRozan, who inches toward his second contract, or Andrea Bargnani, or Ed Davis. But it'd be foolish to make plays for impact veterans given how far the team is from even legit playoff contention.
The team has said it will not use the amnesty clause this year, which means that if another team wants Jose Calderon, they'll have to take his entire salary off of Toronto's hands.
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