The Toronto Raptors have waived centre Alex Len, the team announced Tuesday.
The 27-year-old Ukrainian appeared in just seven games for Toronto, starting in two of them. He averaged just 2.3 points and 1.6 rebounds and was never quite able to find a rhythm with his new team before missing the last three games first due to personal reasons before being ruled out due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Len’s departure doesn’t change much for Toronto who has moved toward more small-ball oriented lineups lately. Both Len and fellow centre Aron Baynes have seen their minutes dwindle since the start of the season as Chris Boucher has blossomed into a star within the organization.
The 7-foot Len signed a one-year, $2.3 million deal with the Raptors in the offseason following the departures of Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. He was brought in to be a defensive presence in the paint but he was instead exploited due to his lack of versatility. His minus-3.3 plus/minus was the second-worst on the team, just ahead of Baynes.
The Raptors now have an open roster spot that can be filled. They could use it to move Yuta Watanabe onto a full contract and give him a full roster spot. However, there’s no rush to do that now because the NBA has eased restrictions on the usage of two-way players this season, so the Raptors have another 35 games or so to use Watanabe while he’s on a two-way contract, according to The Athletic’s Blake Murphy. If Watanabe is not added to the roster, Toronto may decide to sign a free agent centre to a minimum deal.