Raptors forwards Sam Dekker and Isaac Bonga earned spots on the team’s opening-night roster, but their minimum salaries won’t become fully guaranteed quite yet. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link), both players have agreed to push back their salary guarantee dates to November 6. The two contracts were originally set to become guaranteed today.
Players whose contracts are non-guaranteed are typically paid by the day until their guarantee date, but Dekker has a $350K partial guarantee on his full-season salary of $1,789,256, while Bonga’s $1,729,217 salary includes a partial guarantee of $200K. That means the first 20 days of Bonga’s season are already covered by his partial guarantee, while Dekker’s partial guarantee covers the first 35 days of the season.
It’s perhaps no coincidence that November 6 is the 19th day of the NBA season, meaning the Raptors won’t be on the hook for any extra money for either Dekker or Bonga up until that date. If either player is waived on November 6, he’d still just be owed the amount of his partial guarantee. In essence, Toronto is extending the competition for the 14th roster spot by another few weeks.
It’s possible the Raptors could opt to keep both Dekker and Bonga beyond November 6, fully guaranteeing both of their salaries for 2021/22. However, it seems somewhat unlikely, since doing so would put the team over the tax line, as Marks notes (via Twitter).
Additionally, as Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca observes (via Twitter), the Raptors hope to have a healthier roster by early November. Yuta Watanabe (calf) and Chris Boucher (finger) may be back by that point, with Pascal Siakam (shoulder) getting closer to a return. That would reduce the need to carry a 15th man.
Dekker, a 2015 first-round pick who has been out of the NBA since the end of the 2018/19 season, spent time in Russia and Turkey before getting an opportunity with Toronto. Bonga signed with the Raptors this summer after spending his first three seasons with the Lakers and Wizards. He started 49 games for Washington in 2019/20, but saw his role cut back significantly last season.