Free agent signings have officially begun and the Toronto Raptors have managed to nicely fill most of their voids left from lost players (Amir, Lou, Tyler, Vasquez).
Before I touch on the final puzzle piece the Raptors need I will briefly talk about the recent acquisitions of the Toronto Raptors.
Cory Joseph – Joseph brings a tremendous amount of experience with him considering he is still only 23 years old. He has been to the NBA finals twice, and been to the conference finals once, has won one NBA championship while continuing to learn and playing under Tony Parker. Playing under one of the best coaches of all time in Popovich is also nice. While playing for Team Canada he was mentored by Steve Nash. He was also drafted by San Antonio which is known to have superior scouting helping them to maintain their league dominating play year after year. With an NBA championship under his belt to boot.
Demarre Carroll – Carroll is solid and I think will do well for the Raptors provided expectations aren’t too high. He is a very good player and played on a very good team last year.
Luis Scola – The Scola signing is okay. I don’t love the signing and don’t hate it. At 3 million for 1 season it is a low risk move to bring in some experience and depth.
Bismack Biyombo – My favourite signing thus far has been Bismack Biyombo. He is an elite rim protector, recent lottery draft pick, insanely athletic and is only 23 years old! His offence is very lacking but we got him for a bargain price at 2 year/6 million.
Final Puzzle Piece
This brings us to the final puzzle piece. I’ve gone through the free agent list and I really don’t see much available that really fits what the Raptors need as that final puzzle piece. Here are two players I would LOVE to see the Toronto Raptors try to target via trade during the summer.
1. Kenneth Faried. He can run the fast break, block shots, defend interior and is an absolute beast down low (hence his nickname “Manimal”). Looking at the numbers this off season, Faried’s 5 year 60 million dollar contract is a steal. Denver might be more interested in cap space and their future draft position than hanging on to him. He is obtainable and potentially an amazing fit for the Raptors.
2. Terrence Jones. Terrence is the full package at the PF position. He can stretch the floor by hitting 3’s (.351% last season). He can block shots (1.8 blocks per game last season), he can hussle, shoot, drive, dunk, rebound. Amazing fit for the Raptors if we could swing this. Last season the Rockets were deep at the PF position but it is looking like they may not re-sign Josh Smith. If they do re-sign him then Jones is a player to target.
3. Norlens Noel. Philly never expected Okafor to drop to the third draft pick so they jumped on a player that many were projecting to go number one overall for many months. Philly is now stacked in their front court with three young stud centers. As we’ve seen recently, Philly is a bit of a wildcard when it comes to trading their youth. Noel is an elite defender and tons of upside.