Toronto Raptors to be Major Players on the Buyout Market
Following a busy trade deadline, the Raptors are left with multiple open roster spots. The attention will now shift to the buyout market to address some of the holes.
With the end of the trade deadline comes the mini free agency known as the buyout market. This is the last opportunity for teams to upgrade their rosters.
On deadline day, the Raptors acquired Marc Gasol, but it came at a cost of Jonas Valanciunas, CJ Miles and Delon Wright. Moreover, Greg Monroe and Malachi Richardson were shipped out in separate deals to create more roster and financial flexibility.
Once the Gasol trade was official, and recognizing the roster imbalance left behind, team president Masai Ujiri made it clear that the Raptors were going to be active and aggressive in the buyout market.
Masai thinks Gasol is still a very good player and he should be better without having so much of a load all on his shoulders. Also says Raptors will "attack the buyout market."
— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) February 8, 2019
The gamble here is that several other contending teams will also be active in the buyout market, going after the same players. Working in the Raptors favour is the fact that whoever is brought in will have an opportunity to contribute and revitalize a depleted bench.
Don’t sleep on the value of the buyout market. Think back to 2013 when the Miami Heat signed Chris “Birdman” Anderson, who gave them monster minutes and was a major contributor on their way to winning a championship. Or remember just last season when the 76ers picked up Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova off waivers. They gave the 76ers much needed depth, stimulated their bench unit, and were instrumental in the team’s playoff run.
With that said, here are the top 3 buyout candidates the Raptors should be pursuing.
Wesley Matthews would have been at the top of the list, but it appears he is headed to Indiana.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 7, 2019
Get to work Masai, Ellington has to be priority #1. With the Suns already waiving him, the suitors are lining up, with the Detroit Pistons reportedly preparing an offer. The Raptors must act quickly and should be able to outbid the Pistons with their additional financial flexibility.
OFFICIAL: Phoenix Suns waive Wayne Ellington.https://t.co/jc4pFeYc0n
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) February 7, 2019
Ellington is averaging 8.4 points a game, shooting 36.8 from three. Following a breakout campaign last season, he has struggled getting consistent playing time this year and it has affected his confidence and his numbers.
At his best, he is a reliable three-point shooter who fills a much-needed void for the Raptors. The Raptors shoot only 34.5% from three-point range, which ranks 23rdin the NBA. Signing Ellington would drastically improve the Raptors long range efficiency and hopefully make up for what CJ Miles couldn’t provide.
If he doesn’t return to Europe (and that is a big if), Milos Teodosic could provide exactly what the Raptors need: elite playmaking ability, reliable shooting and point guard depth, now that Delon Wright is out of the picture.
The team has waived Milos Teodosic. https://t.co/l3qKzYCvTg
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) February 8, 2019
Despite his highlight reel passing ability and court vision, the Serbian has struggled to stay on the court this season, due to injuries. When healthy however, he has shot 39% from three since joining the NBA. Teodosic, also has plenty of big game experience both in Europe and at the international level. As the Raptors enter the second half of the season, Teodosic should be one of the main candidates they pursue.
Though not officially available on the buyout market yet, the Hawks will most likely be waiving him in the near future, as he does fit in with their rebuild. They tried trading him at the deadline but didn’t get the offer they were looking for.
With Greg Monroe gone, the Raptors could use some depth at the center position. Dedmon is a physical presence inside, averaging better than ten points and seven rebounds per game this season.
He is a low maintenance, no-nonsense kind of player that would crash the boards, protect the rim and give the Raptors an important insurance policy in the frontcourt.
Other buyout candidates for the Raptors to consider: Robin Lopez (Bulls), Markieff Morris (Pelicans), Frank Kaminsky (Hornets), Shelvin Mack (Hawks)