The Raptors, like many teams, have their sights set on chasing star free agents in the summer of 2016, but such plans will make it tough for the team to find room to grant extensions to both Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross when they’re eligible a year from now, writes Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. GM Masai Ujiri did the perfunctory duty of exercising Toronto’s 2015/16 rookie scale team options on Valanciunas and Ross on Tuesday, but the team’s decisions regarding the pair won’t be so easy next fall, as Wolstat points out. Here’s more from around the league:
- Danny Ainge on Tuesday dismissed the notion that the Celtics will waive injured center Vitor Faverani and his fully guaranteed contract, meaning the team is exploring other ways to alleviate its logjam of 16 fully guaranteed deals and 15 opening-night roster spots. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald has the details. “We have things we can do before we waive someone,” Ainge said.
- Kobe Bryant predicted the NBA will move for another lockout in 2017 and had some harsh words for owners around the league when he spoke to reporters Tuesday, including Bill Oram of the Orange County Register. Still, Bryant showered praise on the Lakers, who’ll again be paying him the league’s highest salary this season. “I think it speaks volumes,” he said. “Not only to me or this city but to other players around the league, as well. You look around at some of the other owners that try to milk their players or get rid of them or discard them, this organization doesn’t do that.”
- The Lakers appeared to have the inside track for Kevin Love at times last season, but Love stressed to reporters Tuesday that playing on a contending team like the Cavs means more to him than playing in a large market, notes Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com.