Bismack Biyombo and his Raptors teammates had a poor showing on Wednesday night in Cleveland, but Biyombo’s performance over the course of the postseason – and particularly in the Eastern Conference Finals – has increased his value significantly as he prepares to enter free agency. Biyombo is unlikely to command a maximum contract, but at least one Eastern Conference general manager believes the big man will land a deal worth $16MM+ per year, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.
“For someone like (Biyombo), I think when you look at a guy like Tyson Chandler and what he got from Phoenix last summer (four years, $52MM), that’s where you start for a contract,” the GM said. “But you factor in the cap spike and it’s probably going to be high, I’d say, $16-17 million. It’ll be a heck of a $17 million-per-year gamble.”
Another Eastern Conference exec predicted to Deveney that Biyombo will receive an even higher annual salary in free agency, suggesting that a three-year, $60MM deal is within the realm of possibility. Meanwhile, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post tweets that he was also told yesterday that the Raptors center figures to be in line for $16MM+ per year.
Biyombo technically has a player option for 2016/17, which he could exercise to remain with the Raptors, but since that option would pay just $2.94MM, there’s no chance he won’t elect to test the market instead. And since Biyombo has been in Toronto for just one season, the team only holds his Non-Bird rights. That means that, unless the Raptors renounce DeMar DeRozan‘s rights or get creative elsewhere on the roster, there’s virtually no chance that the club will be able to retain Biyombo if his price gets anywhere close to $16MM annually.
So which teams might be fits for Biyombo? Deveney suggests a few possible suitors, including the Celtics, Lakers, Trail Blazers, and potentially the Bulls and Rockets. Whichever team lands the former seventh overall pick would likely be expecting him to start, given his projected salary, which is something Biyombo probably wouldn’t do in Toronto as long as Jonas Valanciunas is healthy.
“Tyson Chandler, Ben Wallace, someone like that, that is what you hope he becomes next year,” the aforementioned Eastern GM said of Biyombo. “He is never going to be a big-time offensive guy. But as much scoring that goes out to the perimeter, that would not matter on a lot of rosters. He can be a starter somewhere.”