Toronto Raptors: Free agency news and rumour roundup

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Kyle Lowry
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Kyle Lowry /

With NBA free agency in full swing, here’s a look at the latest rumours surrounding the Toronto Raptors.

Although it felt like NBA free agency began about two weeks ago, the Association’s annual free agent frenzy officially began at midnight on July 1st. For Toronto Raptors‘ fans, all eyes were on Kyle Lowry and the point guard market.

Well, after Ricky Rubio was traded to the Utah Jazz, and the Minnesota Timberwolves signed Jeff Teague, and the San Antonio Spurs re-signed Patty Mills, it looks like the Raptors are in the driver’s seat when it comes to contract negotiations with Lowry because the point guard market is beyond saturated now.

Of course, the Raptors’ situation is more complex than just re-signing Lowry, but he is without question the most important domino for the Raptors to resolve and he will have an immediate impact on what the Raptors do this offseason. With so much going on, here’s a collection of rumours and information regarding the Raptors.

Patterson will visit the Kings

According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, the Sacramento Kings met with Raptors free agent forward Patrick Patterson.

Patterson has been an underrated three-and-D power forward for the Raptors, but after another lackluster postseason performance, there are question marks about whether he is worth re-signing.

I would guess that P.J. Tucker is the Raptors first option and Patterson is there second, but considering how much interest each player is drawing, there is a chance the Raptors could wind up not bringing back either one of them.

Raptors inquired about PG13

According to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange, the Raptors did in fact inquire about Paul George, who was surprisingly traded to Oklahoma City in a blockbuster deal, but talks didn’t go very far.

I doubt this news is surprising to anyone, but it’s still worth mentioning. Grange saying the Raptors “hoped for something beyond [a] rental” is perhaps the most telling part, though, and it speaks volumes to the whole “teams are genuinely scared George is just a rental and will bolt for the Lakers next summer” narrative. I mean, how the Pacers were unable to get more than just Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis for PG13 is beyond me.

Woj says Ujiri, Miller have “gone back and forth” about Lowry

I touched on what ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said about Lowry here, but just to reiterate, Woj basically said Masai Ujiri and Lowry’s agent, Andy Miller, have spoken with each other, but a deal is not imminent.

Here’s what Woj said in full:

"“Kyle Lowry’s agent, Andy Miller, has spoke with Masai Ujiri a couple of times tonight. They’ve gone back and forth on some deal concepts. Barring them getting an agreement tonight, which certainly is not imminent, they’ll talk again tomorrow.”"

Shelburne says “feeling is Lowry will return to Toronto”

Huge shout out to Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic for catching this one, but according to ESPN‘s Ramona Shelburne, the current feeling is Lowry will return to the Raptors on a short-term deal.

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Considering how the point guard market has unfolded, the Raptors could easily offer Lowry a two or three year deal and attach an option (we can debate about how much of the option is guaranteed) to it.

Going this route could be complex depending on how the financial details breakdown. With the cap slowly leveling out, Toronto does not want to overpay Lowry and handcuff their roster flexibility. I highly doubt this is something they would do, but it’s important to keep the cap hit in mind now that the term sounds like it will be shorter.

Heat, Rockets interested in Ibaka

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said there is a “significant chance” Serge Ibaka re-signs with the Raptors, but in the event he doesn’t, the Rockets and Heat are said to be interested in the 27-year-old forward.

Raptors met with Tucker, but plenty of teams interested in veteran forward

The Raptors reportedly met with Tucker in Philadelphia early Saturday morning, so perhaps negotiations are starting to head in the right direction between Ujiri and Tucker? Either way, there are a ton of teams showing interest in Tucker, including the Kings, Cavs, Sixers, Timberwolves, Rockets and Clippers.

The Kings have reportedly arranged a face-to-face meeting with Tucker, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, while teams like the Cavs are restricted with what they can offer the veteran forward.

The Raptors are also in a salary cap bind, but they can maneuver things to accommodate any deal involving Tucker since they own his Bird rights.

A possible reunion with Amir?

According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, the Raptors have expressed interest in Amir Johnson.

The former Raptor was a fan favourite in Toronto, but I doubt he’s high on the team’s priority list this offseason. Begley also says the Bulls and Nets are interested in Johnson, while the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey says the Sixers will make a strong push for Johnson, too.

Next: Masai Ujiri is a pipedream for the Knicks

What do you make of all these rumours surrounding the Toronto Raptors? What would you like to see the team do this offseason? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.