Top Free Agent Targets: Toronto Raptors
Max Cap Space: -$4,436,518.00
Projected Cap Space: -$69,285,065.00 (access to taxpayer MLE worth ~$5.7 million)
The Klaw just led Toronto to a first-ever franchise title, and is (by degrees of magnitude) the best free agent the Raptors could possibly sign this season. Whether it's on a 5-year, $190 million max contract or a 1+1 deal, the Raptors would love to have Kawhi back in town for the foreseeable future. There is no way to adequately replace his production, and should he leave the franchise, the Raptors would be forced to immediately weigh the prospect of rebuilding around their young core. With his heavily-sought-after signature on a new contract, the Raptors can remain serious title contenders for years to come.
The Green Ranger's free-agency decision will reportedly be heavily linked to that of Kawhi Leonard's, with many expecting the Raptors to bring both players back on deals with hefty luxury-tax implications for the following season. No matter; Green is easily worth a contract with an Average Annual Value of $10 million+, and the Raptors have no real way of replacing Green's elite 3-and-D skillset with only the Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception at their disposal, should Danny depart. While he may have gone cold from deep at times over the playoffs, his overall on-court impact was tremendous, and letting Green leave would be a massive mistake for the Raptors (assuming Kawhi sticks around). Running it back with Leonard and Green represents Toronto's best outcome this offseason.
Seeing as the Raptors still have a need for rebounding and veteran leadership off the bench, adding a 10-year front court veteran who averaged a per-game line of 10.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists on shooting splits of 57/32/76 (FG%/3PT%/FT%) last year wouldn't be a bad idea. Taj Gibson would likely consume all of Toronto's Taxpayer MLE, but he would be well worth it as the talented 8th or 9th man in their playoff rotation, and he would assuredly love an opportunity to contend for a championship at this point in his career.
Every team - even defending NBA champions - needs more shooters. The more three-point shooters you have on your roster, the more you can space the floor and eviscerate opposing teams with free-flowing, high-scoring offense. Wayne Ellington is a bona fide sniper from long range, sporting a career mark of 38% from deep, and would qualify as yet another shooter the Raptors should consider adding to their lineup if they decide not to go for an off-the-bench rebounder. Ellington could run opposing defences ragged while catching and splashing threes from VanVleet dimes while the starters sit for a breather; something the Raptors should find particularly valuable after suffering many bench scoring mini-droughts these past playoffs.