Timely Replacement

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Raptors Sign Stanley Johnson to Two-Year, $7.5-Million Contract

No, it’s not Kawhi Leonard.

It’s not even Danny Green, but it is some much needed wing help. On Saturday morning, the Toronto Raptors began the process on moving past the short-lived yet successful Kawhi era by signing Stanley Johnson to a two-year, $7.5-million deal. The second year of the contract is a player option.

Without factoring a potential opt-in for next season from Johnson, the Raptors could have $90-million dollar in cap space as Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Fred VanVleet and Marc Gasol are all set to come off the books.

Drafted eighth overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, Johnson has failed to live up to expectations of developing into a valuable three-and-D wing. Splitting time between the Detroit Pistons and the New Orleans Pelicans last season, Johnson averaged 6.9 points per game, albeit on 29-percent from long range. He did shoot the ball at a 32-percent clip from long range in a limited 18-game sample size with the Pelicans.

Despite his offensive deficiencies, at 6-foot-7, the 23-year old remains a very competent defender. In fact, Johnson ranked 11th in ESPN’s Defensive RPM metric.

It may not be the big fish of free agency, but a nice under-the-radar move for the Raptors nevertheless.

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