Michael Grange Joins Sportsnet Central To Discuss Los Angeles Clippers Signing With Serge Ibaka, Its Impact For The Toronto Raptors And Their Next Moves Could Be
Day 2 of free agency was very eventful for the Toronto Raptors and their fans
Reports released around noon on Saturday that Fred VanVleet was re-signing with Toronto really stunned people on Twitter, both happy that VanVleet got the payday he deserved and because it didn’t. completely broken the bank of the Raptors, to keep their ambitious plans for the 2021 offseason intact
However, around 11 hours later that joy turned to melancholy as it was later reported that Serge Ibaka would be reuniting with Kawhi Leonard and heading to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Ibaka was one of the most popular members of the Raptors, transforming himself into an engaging personality thanks to his active social media channels and his YouTube page which saw him become a fashion icon, a celebrity chef and an actor
But as much as Ibaka will be missed for his efforts off the pitch, this is where the Raptors could really be in trouble without him
VanVleet was undoubtedly the Raptors’ top priority as a free agent, but strictly in terms of team depth, Toronto would have been OK had he decided to put his talents elsewhere, especially after the club had gone. selected Malachi Flynn in the first round from Wednesday’s draft
On the other hand, when you look at the depth of the center of Toronto, with Ibaka gone and Marc Gasol also a free agent, the only players that fit are Dewan Hernandez and Chris Boucher – who is currently a restricted free agent. but who is likely to return
This is pretty problematic for the Raptors, and even if you mean the league is going small anyway, you would still like to have someone who can start five for you, and neither Hernandez nor Boucher seem are ready for that for now
So it is now quite important that Masai Ujiri, Bobby Webster and Co go out and try to find a center in the free agent market
As this year’s free agency showed, the center market is pretty much mid-tier except for non-taxpayers (a starting salary of around $ 925 million), but if the Raptors weren’t shy about paying the luxury tax this season, they would have the option to go beyond that – which could help them in their quest for quality great men.
There are options for the Raptors, and here are nine that they might want to consider
Possibly the best option still available, Baynes is rock hard, sets elite screens and even appeared to add a three-point shot to his game in what was a career year last season with Phoenix.
He might be a player slightly outside the Raptors’ price bracket, but the heart and excitement he plays with would make him an instant fan favorite if he were to join Toronto.
A true fan favorite, Biyombo has not been able to recapture the magic he had with the Raptors in the four seasons since leaving Toronto in free agency
Biyombo, no doubt, would make the Raptors stronger defensively, but his inability to shoot the ball might not make him the most attractive option
A great athlete who runs on the rim, Cauley-Stein is a very good player, but he offers little versatility
With his athleticism, he should be a better defender than he actually is, and he definitely can’t shoot three And if he’s aware of what his game is and doesn’t take it, the skills he brings to the table may seem too much like Boucher’s, minus the outside shooting potential
A sexy name, Cousins is a four-time all-star but has seen his career derailed with injury, playing just 95 games in the past four seasons and missing the entire 2019-20 with a problem from ACL
At one point Cousins was one of the best crosses in the league, but after suffering so many injuries and having to go through all this rehabilitation, it’s hard to say what kind of player he might be now.
That said, he could probably have the minimum of veteran and if he’s close to the ‘Boogie’ of yore then the Raptors will hit the jackpot
Sometimes the simpler solutions are the best, and in the case of the Raptors, they might be able to fix this particular problem if they manage to convince Gasol to come back
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, they – more or less the Golden State Warriors – are chasing Gasol for the time being
It’s understandable that a lot of attention was paid to the idea that the Raptors needed to re-sign Ibaka, and that’s probably because, while Ibaka arguably had his best season as a pro, Gasol had perhaps just had his worst
Gasol will be 36 by the end of January and his skills may have diminished very well, but coming out of the NBA and FIBA Championship from summer 2019 until last season, something seemed always go with Gasol, so there is a chance 2019-20 was an anomaly and his game will come back to him
If Toronto can get him to go back to something like the Veteran’s Minimum (around $ 2.5million) or something like that, it would be worth the risk of knowing if he has even more in the tank
At one point in his life, Giles was the No. 1 college rookie in the country He was dubbed the next big man until he tore up his ACL during his senior year of high school, which makes derail its development
While he doesn’t have the kind of weird athleticism he exhibited in high school, Giles can still be an effective rim racer and rim protector. He is still only 22 years old who has just completed his second year in the NBA and there is a chance that there is untapped potential there that Toronto development staff would be able to tap into.
Kaminsky is a stretch-five who won’t do much for you on the glass or in defense, but he has offensive skills and would likely benefit from getting more than three points to boost his productivity.
He’s not the strongest contender here for the Raptors, but the ability to shoot the ball, especially when you’re seven feet tall, will make you want to take a look.
Len is a big old-fashioned bruiser with little athleticism and a bad shot on the outside, but he gets a lot of fuss on the boards and, when given the chance, soft hands inside
Len would likely be off target for the Raptors, as they are an organization that values versatility A player who better played in the 90s doesn’t exactly match that requirement
Still, it’s an option that exists, and it’s never a bad idea to keep an open mind
If the Raptors want rim protection, there are few in the league better than Whiteside, who is a sniping blocker.
He doesn’t offer much in terms of outside shooting skills, nor is he a passer, but Whiteside can score the stone when given the opportunity to take it low. His game would likely resemble Jonas Valanciunas when he was with the Raptors, the difference being that Whiteside is a much better defenseman.
Those would all be enticing things for the Raptors, but the question is how well could he make them work?
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Serge Ibaka, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Fred VanVleet, free agent, Kawhi Leonard, NBA, Marc Gasol
EbeneInfo – CA – 9 centers than the Raptors could target to replace Serge Ibaka
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