The Raptors have agreed to sign free agent wing Devin Robinson to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract, reports Blake Murphy of The Athletic (via Twitter). It’s not clear if it will be an Exhibit 10 deal, but it sounds like it could be.
Robinson spent the last two seasons on a two-way contract with the Wizards. He appeared in seven games for Washington in 2018/19, averaging 6.7 PPG and 2.9 RPG in 13.6 minutes per contest. The 24-year-old saw more frequent action for the Capital City Go-Go in the G League, recording 19.9 PPG and 8.2 RPG in 22 games (34.4 MPG) last season.
Robinson’s time in D.C. came to an abrupt end in April when he was arrested following a fight with NFL player Jalen Mills outside a Washington nightclub. The Wizards quickly announced that the former Florida Gator wouldn’t be back with the team, and he became an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Based on the current make-up of the Raptors’ roster, Robinson will have an uphill battle to earn a spot on the regular season squad. The team is only carrying 12 players with fully guaranteed salaries, but Cameron Payne and Dewan Hernandez will have partial guarantees, and Chris Boucher and Malcolm Miller (both non-guaranteed) are also candidates to return.
The Raptors have reached an agreement with Cameron Payne, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the free agent point guard is signing a two-year contract with Toronto.
Payne’s new deal won’t be fully guaranteed. According to Charania (via Twitter), the former lottery pick will get a partial guarantee in year one and will have an opportunity to compete for a reserve point guard spot with the Raptors.
Payne, who turns 25 next month, was the 14th overall pick in the 2015 draft. However, he has bounced around the league since then, having spent time with the Thunder, Bulls, and Cavaliers in his first four NBA seasons.
In 153 total regular season games, the former Murray State standout has averaged 6.0 PPG and 2.5 APG with a .397/.331/.775 shooting line. He did have a strong Summer League showing in Las Vegas this month though, recording 20.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, and 2.7 SPG while shooting 51.4% from the floor in three games for Dallas.
Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet figure to handle point guard duties for the Raptors in 2019/20, but after trading Delon Wright at last season’s deadline and not re-signing Jeremy Lin in free agency, the team doesn’t have a ton of depth at the position. That lack of depth – and a partially guaranteed contract – should give Payne the upper hand in earning one of Toronto’s last few roster spots.
The Cavaliers and Raptors are among the teams that have inquired on free agent power forward Dragan Bender, tweets international reporter Orazio Cauchi. According to Cauchi, EuroLeague clubs like CSKA Moscow and Fenerbahce are also keeping an eye on Bender and have “some level of interest.”
Bender, 21, was the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft and spent the last three seasons with the Suns. However, he has failed to develop into a regular rotation player, averaging 5.3 PPG and 3.8 RPG with a .394/.321/.647 shooting line in 171 games in Phoenix.
A source tells Cauchi (Twitter link) that there some NBA teams still believe Bender’s potential could be worth a roll of the dice. At this point though, the young big man seems unlikely to receive more than minimum-salary offers, and even then, it’s not clear he’d get any sort of guarantees.
If Bender had played out his rookie contract, he would have been on track to earn a $5.9MM salary in 2019/20. The Suns turned down their fourth-year team option though, allowing the Croatian to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
The Kings would like to re-sign free agent center Kosta Koufos, but he has attracted preliminary interest from the Pistons, Raptors and Bucks as well, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Haynes suggests Koufos might remain on the market until the latter stages of free agency.
Koufos, 30, has spent the past four seasons in Sacramento, but has seen his role diminish as the team has added younger talent. He played just 42 games this year, averaging 3.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in 12 minutes per night.
Koufos is a traditional low-post center known for his defense and rebounding, but his inability to stretch the floor or hit free throws has limited his effectiveness.
A first-round pick by the Jazz in 2008, Koufos bounced around the NBA before landing a four-year deal with the Kings in 2015. He also spent time with the Timberwolves, Nuggets and Grizzlies.
- The Raptors might as well offer Pascal Siakam a max four- or five-year extension this summer, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca argues. Ben Simmons has reportedly received a similar offer from the Sixers, while Jamal Murray has already signed an extension with the Nuggets. Siakam has outperformed both of his peers in many categories, Grange notes. The Raptors also don’t have any salary-cap restraints in future seasons that would prevent them from maxing out Siakam, Grange adds.
Hernandez, the second-to-last pick in June at No. 59 overall, averaged 11.4 PPG and 6.7 RPG in 25.8 MPG in 2017/18 for the University of Miami, but didn’t play last season due to eligibility issues. The 6’11” Hernandez, 22, did not make a 3-point shot in his two college seasons.
He will likely spent much of his rookie season with the Raptors’ G League affiliate. He has averaged 12.3 PPG and 7.5 RPG in 23.5 MPG over four summer league appearances.
JULY 11: Davis’ deal is now official, the Raptors announced today in a press release.
Davis, who went undrafted in June out of Ole Miss, turned down multiple two-way deals with hopes of finding an NBA deal, Charania adds. Toronto will come to an agreement with the combo guard on a day where the franchise also agreed to sign Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Davis was playing for the Nuggets Summer League team. He had an impressive day on Sunday, scoring 22 points in Denver’s contest. Davis will no longer play for the Nuggets’ team in Las Vegas.
JULY 11: The Raptors have officially signed Johnson, the team announced today in a press release. It’s not clear yet whether the team used its mid-level or bi-annual exception to complete the signing.
Johnson won’t make anyone in Toronto forget Kawhi Leonard but he’ll absorb some of the Finals’ MVP’s minutes with Leonard heading to the Clippers. Johnson has been a disappointment since the Pistons selected him in the lottery in 2015.
Johnson’s contract could fit into Toronto’s bi-annual exception of $3.623MM or it could use a portion of the $9.258MM mid-level exception.
He played 3 1/2 years with Detroit before he was dealt to Milwaukee, which quickly shipped him to New Orleans just before last season’s trade deadline. Johnson appeared in 18 games with the Pelicans, averaging 5.3 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 13.7 MPG. For his career, Johnson has averaged 7.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 1.5 APG in 21.6 MPG.
His strength is his defensive prowess with the ability to guard four positions. Outside shooting (29.3% on 3-point tries) has been a major issue for Johnson at the offensive end. At 23, Johnson still has time to establish himself as at least a solid rotation player.