NOVEMBER 26: Len has officially signed with the Raptors, per the NBA’s transactions log.
NOVEMBER 23: The Raptors will add veteran big man Alex Len to their center rotation, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter link). Len will presumably compete with Chris Boucher for backup minutes behind Aron Baynes, another new addition.
Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (via Twitter) reports that Len will sign a one-year contract.
After using most of their mid-level exception on the two-year, $14.3MM Baynes signing, the Raptors will use the leftover portion of their MLE to sign Len, per Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link). As a result, he’ll earn about $2.32MM instead of a minimum salary of $2.17MM.
Drafted with the fifth pick by Phoenix in 2013, the oft-traveled Len signed with the Hawks during his first crack at free agency in 2018, for a two-year, $8.5MM contract. Atlanta dealt Len to the Kings in a package for Dewayne Dedmon and two future second-rounders at the 2019/20 trade deadline.
The 27-year-old seven-footer holds efficient career averages of 8.0 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 1.0 BPG in 19.6 MPG across his seven NBA seasons.
Toronto saw its top two centers, veterans Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, walk in free agency. The Raptors have moved quickly to piece together a respectable rotation of big men to replace them — including incumbent RFA Boucher.
The 33-year-old Baynes is a competent defender who has recently developed into a perimeter shooting threat, while the lankier Boucher became an intriguingly athletic rotation piece last season. Len provides a big body in the post to threaten players at the rim. Though they lack the two-way versatility or passing of their predecessors, this triumvirate may be able to replace a decent amount of their output.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.