Raptors Waive Drew Eubanks

5:40pm: The Raptors have officially waived Eubanks, according to a press release from the team.

3:18pm: The Raptors plan to waive big man Drew Eubanks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Eubanks was just acquired as part of a trade that brought Thaddeus Young to Toronto.

Eubanks, 25, went undrafted out of Oregon State in 2018, but caught on with the Spurs. He was on a two-way contract his first couple seasons before signing a guaranteed deal in 2020, which ran through the end of this season. The Raptors will be on the hook for what’s left of his $1.76MM salary this season.

Eubanks could be a candidate for teams on the buyout candidate for looking for size, as he’s been productive in limited minutes during his career. Through 49 games this season, he averaged 4.7 PPG and 4.0 RPG in just 12.1 MPG.

Given Eubanks’ solid track record in limited minutes, the decision to cut him is a little surprising, but his release makes it clear the Raptors were solely targeting Young in their deal with San Antonio. GM Bobby Webster referred to Young as a “high-level professional” whose defensive versatility will fit well with Toronto’s aggressive, switching scheme, reports Tim Bontemps of ESPN (Twitter link). Webster also said the team has been interested in the forward’s services for a long time.

Webster also said the Raptors had multiple other options at the deadline, including taking on more money this season or beyond, but the deals fell apart for various reasons, Blake Murphy of Sportsnet tweets. Toronto still has a portion of the mid-level exception remaining to possibly dangle to a free agent, Webster notes. Murphy points out that the Raptors could opt to sign someone to a 10-day deal if they choose to go for maximum flexibility, since March 1 is the cutoff date for a player to be waived while maintaining his playoff eligibility.

As Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports relays (via Twitter), trading Goran Dragic provided additional room under the luxury tax threshold, and waiving Eubanks will give them the flexibility to look for another player on the buyout market or convert Justin Champagnie‘s two-way deal into a standard contract. Lewenberg deems the latter scenario to be more likely.

Sources tell Michael Grange of Sportsnet (Twitter link) that the Raptors discussed the matter with Champagnie, but opted to wait until after the trade deadline. Grange notes that by taking on less money and waiving Eubanks, the Raptors can possibly convert Champagnie earlier and still have him be eligible for the playoffs without tax concerns.

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