Well last night was a bummer! I can just picture the now-famous Maple Leaf Square crowd looking collectively stunned… Bruno freaking Caboclo.
I was really hoping for a solid option like Payne or Ennis to fall. The team clearly wanted Ennis at 20, and had made a promise to Caboclo at 37. They obviously didn’t want to miss out on both. The Raps failed to trade into the lottery last year to draft the Greek Freak, so they swung for the fences on possibly the rawest first rounder ever. I’m not going to speculate on if or when the “Brazilian Durant” will ever make an impact in the NBA.
Moving forward, the Raps’ offseason To-do list is fairly straightforward. The roster is set except for Lowry and the 2 restricted free agents (Vasquez/Patterson). All 3 were vital members of the team’s success last season, and staying the course for another year until more cap space clears out is probably the best move. Assuming they cut Salmons and use the team option on Amir Johnson, they have a little over 49 million in cap commitments next year. The luxury tax threshold is estimated to increase to 77 million in 14/15, leaving plenty of room to re-sign all 3. Hopefully Vasquez and PatPat can be had for no more than 10 million combined in restricted free agency. The best barometer for Lowry is probably Ty Lawson’s 12 million/year salary. Toronto must resign Kyle. This is one of the rare instances where overpaying is necessary. The chemistry, positivity, and success of this team would take a steep hit and the Raps have space to pay a little extra this year.
Assuming the Raps can pull all of that off, they will be set up very well for the future, with only about $45 million in 2015/16 commitments to this group of talented and improving players (for the most part): Lowry, Derozan, JV, Ross, Vasquez, PatPat and Steve Novak.
After swinging for the fences in the draft, Ujiri needs to play it safe and stay the course in free agency this summer. Don’t screw it up “Messiah”