In a move that should surprise no one, the Toronto Raptors announced today (Oct. 16th) they have exercised the contract options on three of their young players: second year big men Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam, along with third year guard Delon Wright. The move is a no-brainer for all involved.
For Poeltl and Siakam, the 22-year-old ninth pick and the 23-year-old 27th pick in the 2016 NBA draft respectively, the third year options cost the Raptors $2,947,300 and $1,544,951 for the 2018-19 season, and then another decision will have to be made. As with today, the Raptors will have to determine before October 18th, 2018, whether or not to pick up the team’s fourth year options on both big men, which costs the Raptors a bunch more money. Given the Raptors’ current salary cap situation, it suggests both big men will likely be here for the full term of their rookie deals — barring trade, of course. It make financial and player development sense, almost regardless of what both players do this season.
Wright, meanwhile, is entering his third year in the league, so the Raptors have now engaged the last year of his rookie deal for $2,536,898. As now one of the team’s primary back-up guards (along with the recently extended Norman Powell), this is a solid deal for the Raptors — even if Wright hasn’t done a ton on-court just yet to justify the money. The serious question for the Raptors will be after the 2018-19 season when Wright enters restricted free agency. Could he command Norm money or will the team go in a different direction?
This all amounts to mere housekeeping for the Raptors as all three players were always going to be retained as low-cost, medium upside (at the very least!) rotation players for Toronto. For a team that values its player development system, it just makes good sense.