FRED BACK. Shams Charania dropped the bomb we’d all be waiting for: the Raptors and Fred VanVleet have agreed to a two-year / $18 million deal that will see the second unit’s leader back in Toronto. Read about the details here.
Now, I guess we wait and see if the Raptors have a tax-ducking trade in the works? Or we can just watch the second half of Spain/ Russia in peace.
The NBA hasn’t really woken up yet, but I sure have. If you’re worried you missed LeBron’s decision or a Kawhi trade over night, don’t sweat it, you only missed Nik Stauskas signing with the Blazers on a one-year minimum deal per ESPN’s Chris Haynes. Ed Davis is on the Nets now, too, forever doomed to earn criminally below his value despite being the fourth or fifth-best player on his team.
More stuff will probably happen once the west coast starts to awaken. Stay tuned to Raptors HQ all day for FRED WATCH and more.
The most recent tweet in the NBA Newsbreakers column I have on Tweetdeck has Bobby Marks talking about Tyrone Wallace as an under-the-radar free agent to keep an eye on. I am going to bed. Talk in a few hours, friendos.
Per Yahoo’s Shams Charania, the Phoenix Suns are signing Trevor Ariza to a one-year / $15 million deal — a move that all but rules them out of making a competitive offer to Fred VanVleet. Read more about it here.
Paul George, DeAndre Jordan, Jerami Grant, Doug McDermott, Ersan Ilyasova, Will Barton, Aron Baynes and probably some other dudes I’m forgetting have already signed.
As far as what the Raptors have been up to...
gimme some raptor news— Joe Wolfond (@joey_doubleyou) July 1, 2018
The Raptors aren’t the belle of the 2018 free agency ball. Hell, they’re not even really on the dance floor. But while Toronto fans may be tempted to turn their focsus on LeBron James’ flight charts or Paul George’s arrival at Russell Westbrook’s Thunder reunion party, Toronto fans will have to keep one eye fixed on their own house.
Fred VanVleet stands as concern no. one, two and three as free agency kicks off. The cash-flushed, point guard-less Suns loom as a real threat to toss a silly offer sheet VanVleet’s way in restricted free agency. Masai Ujiri has his flexibility and luxury tax particulars to juggle in the event Fred finds a deal that needs matching — although those gymnastics may be scaled down in difficulty after tonight’s revelations about what the salary cap may look like going forward.
Very important information buried in the NBA's salary cap memo sent to teams: projection for 2019-20 cap up to $109 million, and then $116 million for 2020-21. Cap is set at $101.9M for upcoming 2018-19 season.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 1, 2018
That’s important! With a substantial cap spike expected, it could make it easier for the Raptors to match a VanVleet offer sheet from Phoenix, even if the Suns resort to some Gilbert Arenas Provision chicanery.
Of course Fred isn’t Toronto’s only free agent. Lucas Nogueira, Malcolm Miller and Lorenzo Brown’s futures are all undecided as well. Follow along with Raptors HQ for news and updates on all of the Raptors’ free agents, and spill all your July 1-related anxiety into the comments.