After Kawhi Leonard’s departure to the Clippers, the Raptors signed small forward (SF) Stanley Johnson to a two-year deal worth 7.5M with the second of the two years being a player option. Johnson will most likely fill the bench SF role while OG Anunoby starts at the position.
But Leonard wasn’t the only departure as starting shooting guard (SG) Danny Green signed with the Los Angeles Lakers on a two-year deal worth 30M. Which leaves the Raptors with a hole at the two spot unless they plan on giving Patrick McCaw significant minutes. As he and Norman Powell are the only two primary shooting guards on the roster.
Powell could easily slide into the starting role and McCaw play off the bench but I find more likely that Nick Nurse will prefer to keep Powell as a part of the bench unit.
The Raptors are already over the cap so a signing is likely to come through their Mid-Level Exception (MLE). I am going to look at five options for the Raptors to replace the minutes lost from Green’s departure.
Justin Holiday is ranked as the best remaining shooting guard on the open market. He averaged 10/4/2 between the Bulls and Grizzlies last year and shot 39 percent from the field (35 percent from three). Holiday has drawn interest from multiple teams including both LA organizations.
Avery Bradley was recently waived by the Memphis Grizzlies and is now a free agent. Bradley has seen a decline in recent times but is still a solid defensive guard and shot 35 percent from three last year. The Warriors have shown interest so it might be a tough sell but the Raptors could offer significant minutes.
Canadian Nik Stauskas is still only 25-years-old. While he hasn’t found tremendous success since being selected 8th overall in 2014 by the Sacramento Kings he has consistently shot well from behind the arc. The Mississauga native shot 37 percent last year from three but in his 24 games with Cleveland he shot 43 percent. Maybe signing with his hometown team could give a much needed spark to his career.
Galloway is the one lone player on this list that isn’t a free agent but a trade could be a possibility. It is rumoured that the Pistons could be in on the Russell Westbrook sweepstakes to pair him with Blake Griffin. If the Pistons were to go that route a lot of salary shuffling would have to take place. Galloway has one year left on his current deal with a cap hit of 7.3M. He might be a domino to fall if Westbrook makes his way to the motor city and if Ujiri can figure out a way to fit him under the cap he might be a fit in Toronto.
Vince has been linked to the Raptors for years. As his career has been coming to a close people want to see Vinsanity return to the city in which he started his career. Vince Carter has announced 2019/20 will officially be his last season before retiring so why not end his career where it started. While Carter definitely wouldn’t be a starting option his return to Toronto could be a reason for excitement for a fanbase who just lost their superstar.