Here’s an interesting move: on Wednesday afternoon the Toronto Raptors released forward Sagaba Konate, trimming their roster to 19 players, and looking for all the world like there was to be a mass exodus of players over the weekend to get the team’s roster down to 15 (plus, presumably a pair of two-way contracts). Instead, that didn’t happen.
This morning the Raptors announced they have signed guard Matt Morgan to a deal, bringing their roster back up to the maximum 20 players. For a team staring down the start of the NBA season on Tuesday, it reads like a bit of a curious move.
But then, there is indeed an explanation — and it’s more savvy than curious. As the world’s G-League Raptors 905 maven Blake Murphy points out, both the Morgan signing (and likely eventual release), along with that of Konate, point to a stocking of the 905’s roster. By bringing both Konate and Morgan onto the Raptors and then releasing them, it grants each player a $50K boost in salary, which entices them, as intriguing prospects, to stay in Toronto’s development system.
The Raptors have waived Sagaba Konate.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) October 16, 2019
The early move opens up a spot to give another player an Exhibit 10 & waive to further stock Raptors 905. Konate likely headed there, too, as an Affiliate Player.
The Raptors have signed Matt Morgan.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) October 17, 2019
This is the “Exhibit 10 & waive for 905” procedural move I’d mentioned after the Konate waiver. Morgan gets $50K bump to the G League salary, Raptors get a sharpshooter they liked at Summer League.
Nothing is quite official yet with regards to the final 905 roster, but do not be surprised to see Morgan and Konate on the team come the start of the G-League season.
As for Morgan’s particulars, he’s a 6’2”, 174-pound guard, who put up 20.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 32.5 minutes per game across 114 contests (in which he started 112) for Cornell University. That’s the full four year run. Oh, and he shot 47 percent from the field and 38 percent from three, both solid marks for a guard. If he looks familiar to you today (since you have presumably not been following Cornell ball), it’s because Morgan played for the Raptors in the 2019 Summer League, putting up modest averages of 4.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists in 13.8 minutes per game.
If nothing else, I hope Morgan (and Konate) enjoy the lovely(ish) environs of Mississauga.