The Toronto Raptors have many decisions to make during the off-season in 2020. There are options if it’s not Serge Ibaka or Marc Gasol.
The Toronto Raptors will have to make some hard decisions this off-season, and chief among those choices is who will play center? This past season it was Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka. It was a mixed bag with Marc Gasol showing signs that he may be finished as a starting center in the NBA and Serge Ibaka having perhaps his best season in the NBA coming off the bench.
The stats could not be more different. Marc Gasol played just 44 games and produced only 7.5 points per game while playing 26.4 minutes a night. Serge Ibaka came off of the bench scoring 15.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in 27 minutes per game. With the center position no longer a real emphasis in the NBA, the Raptors are free of Marc Gasol’s 25.6 million dollar salary and Serge Ibaka’s 23.2 million dollar salary.
The Raptors were spending nearly 50 million dollars on the center position, and only the backup was productive and effective. With Ibaka and Gasol free agents now, 49 million dollars can be redistributed to build a better roster. Several factors may affect what the Raptors’ management may do to restock the center position.
Those factors include the 2020/21 salary cap, which may be affected by COVID-19 induced financial losses, whether management signs Fred VanVleet or not, and if they do at what price, and whether management brings back Serge Ibaka or not and for how much if they do.
It would be a mistake to bring back Marc Gasol unless it’s at a minute fraction of his salary in 2020, and his role is as a depth player. The Raptors needed a credible backup for Pascal Siakam in 2020 and now need to address the center position. Here are five players that could fit the Raptors’ system at a reasonable cap hit.