With the Toronto Raptors currently sitting on top of the Atlantic Division with a 31-25 record, they are in good shape to secure one of the top four playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors aren't a legit contender this season, but they are just one or two pieces away from making some serious noise. The Raptors have a solid point guard rotation, as well as depth in the front court. The main thing they lack is another scorer, specifically someone who could come off the bench and provide instant offense. This begs the question: Should the Raptors pursue some of the players who are in the midst of being bought out?
A player being bought out means that they have reached a settlement with their current team and they become a free agent. This makes them up grabs for any team to sign.
Danny Granger (6'9 Small Forward, 30 years old)
2013 Stats: 8.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 35.9%
Career Stats: 17.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 43.5%
- He can create his own shot and provide instant offense.
- He can stretch the floor by hitting long range jumpers, as well as attack the basket.
- He is a good defender and brings another veteran presence in the locker room.
- He has played a total of 22 career playoff games. On a team with hardly any playoff experience, this would be very beneficial.
Granger was acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers at the trade deadline, but isn't expected to suit up for the team. He has been battling injuries over the last couple of seasons and has only played 34 games since the 2011-2012 season. His durability remains a concern, but based on the talent and experience he brings, you can't pass that kind of opportunity up.
Granger may want to be a starter or receive starter minutes, however based on his limited amount of playing time the last few seasons, he would probably have to accept a bench role. It is unknown where Granger would sign and the Raptors are probably not on the top of his list. However, Masai Ujiri has said that he will go over the luxury tax if it is for the right move that will make the team better. It is up to him to decide whether Granger would put the Raptors over the top or if it would just be a distraction that wasn't worth the money.
Ben Gordon (6'3 Shooting Guard, 30 years old)
2013 Stats: 5.2 ppg, 1.1 apg, 34.3%
Career Stats:15.6 ppg, 2.6 apg, 43.2%
- He is a streaky shooter that can light it up in a hurry. He can shoot you in games or shoot you out of games.
- He is an undersized shooting guard and creates a mismatch defensively.
- He doesn't necessarily like to pass the ball and that could be a problem with the Raptors being team-oriented.
- He played in 29 playoff games with the Chicago Bulls from 2004-2009.
Gordon can provide instant off the bench, but doesn't always look to get his teammates involved. He has the ability to create his own shot and can shoot off the dribble or off the pass. He has only played in 19 games this season with the Charlotte Bobcats as he has found himself in the doghouse. The Raptors would probably be best to stay away from a player like Ben Gordon.
Metta World Peace (New York Knicks) was bought out today and Jimmer Fredette (Sacramento Kings) is expected to be bought out this week. However, neither of them should be of interest to the Raptors as they wouldn't make the team better.
In order to sign any player the Raptors would have to create a roster spot. Dwight Buycks and Julyan Stone are two players whose spot on this team could be in jeopardy. It will all depend on what Masai Ujiri wants to do. Does he want to make a strong push at the Eastern Conference Finals or does he want to keep the team the way it is and work towards next season?
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