Raptors To Decline Malachi Richardson’s Option

The Raptors won’t pick up Malachi Richardson‘s fourth-year option for the 2019/20 season, reports Michael Scotto of The Athletic (via Twitter). The decision ensures that Richardson will become an unrestricted free agent during the summer of 2019.

[RELATED: Decisions On 2019/20 Rookie Scale Options]

Richardson, the 22nd overall pick in 2016, was acquired by the Kings on draft night and spent a season and a half in Sacramento before being sent to the Raptors at last season’s trade deadline. The former Syracuse standout was never able to establish a consistent role with the Kings and hasn’t played much in Toronto either, appearing in just six games for the club since February’s trade.

The $2,581,597 cap hit on Richardson’s 2019/20 option was modest, but every dollar will count for the Raptors, especially if they’re able to re-sign Kawhi Leonard — in that scenario, the team would almost certainly be in luxury tax territory, so replacing Richardson with a minimum-salary player would create substantial savings.

While the Raptors have yet to make an official announcement on 2019/20 rookie scale options, their other decisions are easy ones, as they’ll surely be picking up the options for Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby.

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