The Toronto Raptors will be looking to strengthen their roster during the off-season, as they look to bounce back following their agonising semi-final conference defeat to the Boston Celtics last season. However, Raptors management will find themselves at catch 22 this off-season, as they will be looking to manage the cap carefully so that they can have a run at getting Giannis Antetokounmpo next season from the Milwaukee Bucks.
There is important business for the Raptors to do over the next couple of weeks, as the primary concern must be tying down Fred VanVleet on a multi-year deal. However, which other free agents could the Raptors make a move for?
Tristan Thompson will be a player that the Toronto Raptors will certainly have an eye on during the free agency. Thompson will face a huge dilemma over the summer, as he could be looking for a new home to play basketball. Cleveland Cavaliers are in the midst of a big rebuild, and whether the 29-year-old is part of those plans remains to be seen.
The Raptors could offer a very romantic option for Thompson, as he could return to his homeland to play in the state where he was born. There is no doubt that Thompson still has a lot to offer for one of the leading NBA sides, and will be a good pick for any team that are targeting a run at the championship or rebuilding for future success. Last season he averaged 12 points per game, which was a career-high, and the Raptors could undoubtedly benefit from his star quality.
Danilo Gallinari will be a player that a number of NBA franchises will be looking at during the free agency. It is heavily reported that he is likely to move to Atlanta, but the Raptors could offer the Italian an excellent package and beat the Falcons to the small forward. The 32-year-old arrived into the NBA back in 2008 as a round 1 draft pick for the New York Knicks. The Italian was one of the players that made room for Paul George’s arrival at the Los Angeles Clippers last year, which was unfortunate given that his average points totals per game that season was at a career-high for the Italian.
It wasn’t a disappointing first season for the Oklahoma Thunder for Gallinari, as he averaged 18.7 points per game for the Thunder. He will certainly be a player that teams will be looking at, but whether the Raptors will be able to tempt the Italian remains to be seen.
One of the most exciting players that the Raptors could look at in this free agency is Montrezl Harrell. The 26-year-old was one of the standout players for the Los Angeles Clippers last season, and his performances saw him awarded the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award. However, there has been no movement at present regarding at extension to his deal, which means that the Raptors could make their move. It is still expected that he will re-sign with the Clippers, but Harrell would undoubtedly be a player that interests the Raptors if they can’t tie down VanVleet to an extended deal. It would also ensure that the Raptors remain popular in the NBA expert picks next season.
Harrell was in excellent form for the Clippers lasts season, as he averaged 18.6 points per game in the regular season and 10.5 points per game in the post-season. It looks unlikely that he will be moving, but the Raptors would be a perfect destination for Harrell if he does decide that he needs to move on.