Can the Raptors find the Moneyball?

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The Raptors currently have approximately have $30M to spend before we have to pay the luxury tax.

The Raptors Roster

PG) Kyle Lowry

Lowry played strong for 3/4s of the season and happened to be selected to the all-star team. The Raptors’ fan base definitely values Kyle higher than the rest of the league. Especially when we offered him twice the money of what anyone else was willing to pay last summer. I still believe in Lowry and value him as a top 15 starting PG in the NBA.

SG) DeMar DeRozan

DD is one of two players. He’s the guy that shoots around only 40% with 15ppg half the season with hardly any 3s. And the other half he’s carrying the team on his back putting up 25+ points by getting to the free throw line a lot. When he’s the first kind of player he’s no better than a 6th man. When he is the second kind of player he plays like a number two option on a good team.

SF) James Johnson

There’s a reason why JJ is a fan favourite. And it isn’t his poor FT%. James is a a beast defensively. In under 20 minutes he was able to average close to a steal and block a game. He also efficient on offense because he shot close to 60% from the floor this season and rarely turns the ball over. I believe James could be a starter in the NBA and still be as affective.

PF) Patrick Patterson

The Patman’s numbers are slightly down this season compared to last season despite getting more minutes. However, Patterson has gotten fewer touches this season. Efficiency is still his game by shooting well and not turning the ball over. A quality backup is how I would describe the stretch four. He would need to improve his rebounding ability and defence to be trusted to start at a nightly basis.

C) Jonas Valanciunas

Jonas is improving across the board from shooting percentages to defensive intensity despite his minutes being down from last season. He should continue to improve and be a solid starting centre in the NBA.


Terrence Ross

T-Ross has been a disappointment this season. He wasn’t a very good basketball player to begin with, but the fact that he regressed from last season is troubling. It’s been hard to figure out what he does well. He’s not a particularly good passer, rebounder or defender and he doesn’t draw fouls. What I have concluded is that he is a good three point shooter when given space (left open). I would think the Raptors would try to trade Ross this off-season because he’s still young so some other team should be willing to flip their disappointing young piece to mix things up. (See column: Raptors Looking to Trade Ross. Coming Soon…)

Delon Wright – Rookie


Norman Powell – Rookie


Bruno Caboclo

In summer league an analyst stated, Caboclo didn’t know how to run the floor. The young Brazilian only played 23 minutes for the Toronto Raptors this season, so it’s hard to judge his basketball game. However, the fact that he wasn’t able to get many minutes in the D-League is certainly a red flag.

Lucas Nogueria

He also saw 23 minutes this season with the Raptors. He is a positive dude which should help the locker room. It’s still very hard to tell if he can play basketball.

DeAndre Daniels

DeAndre was the Raptors second round pick this past season, but wasn’t on the roster. I would expect him to be with the team this upcoming season with several bodies coming off the Raptors payroll.

Free Agents (Raptors)

Lou Williams

Louis won the NBA’s 6th man award. The guard is due to earn a lot of money from someone this off-season. He is a great three point shooter. However, he is small and can get shutdown in a hurry like he did in the playoffs. I don’t want to devalue Louis, but he is the kind of talent that should be replaceable through free agency and/or the draft for less cap space.

Amir Johnson

Amir has been a solid Raptor for six seasons. His numbers have never been sexy on the stat sheet, but he tends to improve the players around him when he’s on the floor. Health continues to be a factor with him, so I would only want to keep him if it’s on the cheap.

Tyler Hansbrough

Tyler plays hard every night and never gives up. He is the definition of replacement level talent. It shouldn’t impact the Raptors a lot if we decide to keep him or not.

Chuck Hayes

He is slow, can’t defend, or score, but somehow a better rebounder than most of the players on the Raptors. He will likely be gone because there is no reason to keep him.

Landry Fields

Money off the books. Wasn’t a very good basketball player before the injuries and has been useless since the injuries.

Greg Steimsma

Just not an NBA talent.

Top 10 NBA Team Averages at Each Category (Raptors Season Average)


104.54ppg (104) -0.54ppg

45.13rpg (41.5) -3.63rpg

24.12apg (20.7) -3.42apg

8.85spg (7.5) -1.35spg

5.63bpg (4.4) -1.23bpg

46.42 FG% (45.5) -0.92FG%

36.96 3FG% (35.2) -1.76 3FG%

77.77 FT% (78.7) +0.93 FT%

13.07 (12.9) -0.17tpg

Raptors Off-Season Free Agent Shopping List

The Swingman

Wes Matthews 15.9ppg, FG% 44.8, 2.9 3s (38.9%), FT% 75.2 (previous 2 season 80+), 3.7rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.3spg, 0.2bpg 1.4tpg

A great 3 point shooter that is fine on D. He is coming off the injury, but I think he’s still worth
$10-12M/YR. I’m not sure that the Blazers could match that because they have to resign LaMarcus Aldridge.

Danny Green 11.7ppg, FG% 43.6, 2.4 3s (41.8%), FT% 87.4, 4.2rpg, 2apg, 1.2spg, 1.1bpg, 1.1tpg

Has learned from the best system in the NBA. One of the more underrated 3 and D players. His numbers were stronger without Kawhi Leonard, but he is still one of the most efficient players per minute in the NBA. I value him at $7-8M/YR.

KJ McDaniels (PHILLY STATS) 9.2ppg, FG% 39.9, 0.8 3s (29.3%), FT% 75.6, 3.8rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.8spg, 1.3bpg, 2tpg

He has done nothing since being traded to the Rockets, but he looked really good for a rookie on a dreadful 76ers team. I don’t think he’s ever going to be a fantastic 3 point shooter, but he looked like one of the best defensive rookies this year. Is he going to be an all-star next year? No. But he’s should be an upgrade from Terrence Ross and could be a very good player in a couple of years.
I value him at $4-5M/YR.

The Big

Robin Lopez 9.6ppg, FG% 53.5, FT% 77.2, 6.7rpg, 0.9apg, 1.4bpg, 1.2tpg

RoLo is certainly an efficient big that saw a bit of a regression this past year due to injury and a minute reduction. There should be no injury concern as he played every game the previous two seasons. Robin Lopez is a guy the Raptors organization has had interest in since he was drafted. The Raptors desperately need quality player to backup Jonas Valanciunas. Robin Lopez is definitely the best available one out there. I value him at $6-8M/YR.

Brandan Wright (MAVS STATS) 8.8ppg, FG% 74.8, FT% 75, 4.1rpg, 0.4apg, 1.6bpg, 0.5tpg

Wright plays extremely efficient when he plays 20 minutes or less. He was traded twice this season and never was really given a chance to fit with the Celtics or Suns. Brandan Wright is a solid defender who doesn’t make many mistakes. It’s hard to know what his market value is, but I would value him at $5-$6M/YR.

Paul Millsap 16.7ppg, FG% 47.6, 1.1 3s (35.6%), FT% 75.7, 7.8rpg, 3.1apg, 1.8spg, 0.9bpg, 2.3tpg

Millsap is certainly the player the Raptors want to chase. He is just an all around great player. Paul Millsap is a decent shooter for a big that can also rebound and make the extra pass. Furthermore, he’s an above average defender. Mr. Millsap would be a perfect compliment to Jonas Valanciunas in the starting lineup and instantly become a core player on the team. How do the Raptors lure him to Toronto? They can start by offering him the max. Yes, I do value him at $20+M/YR.


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