Charlotte Hornets: Toronto Raptors players to target in free agency

As a part of our ongoing series detailing which players the Charlotte Hornets should target during free agency, our attention shifts to the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors finished with a 48-34 record, which earned them a 5th-place finish in the Eastern Conference. In what many expected to be a rebuilding season, Toronto demolished their expectations and comfortably made the playoffs. They eventually lost in six games to the Philadelphia 76ers, but Nick Nurse and the Raptors proved that they are a team on the rise.

With their core (Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and Scottie Barnes) under contract for next season, a number of role players and bench pieces are scheduled to hit the open market in Toronto. While there are not a number of big names here, the Hornets may glance at their northern neighbor’s roster when the time comes.

Svi Mykhailiuk is the lone player option for the Raptors. Sitting around the $2 million range, he should take that guaranteed money rather than taking his chances on the open market.

Yuta Watanabe, David Johnson, and Justin Champagnie are all restricted free agents in 2022. Johnson and Watanabe are likely on the only team that would offer them a contract anyways, so they should stay put. Champagnie, on the other hand, may draw an offer or two from teams around the league. As a young wing, he could provide value in a year or two, but the Hornets would be better saving their money for a player that would affect their rotation now.

For the unrestricted free agents, Toronto could realistically let all of their guys walk. Thaddeus Young, Chris Boucher, Isaac Bonga are the three names in this class, and none of them really provide anything that Toronto needs. With a plethora of big men in the rotation, an aging Young and an inconsistent Boucher are likely gone. Bonga does not have Bird rights with the Raptors, so Toronto is probably going to abandon each of these players and attempt to secure a big-name free agent in 2022.

That being said, this does not mean that the Hornets should pursue any of these unrestricted free agents. Young may have just had his final contract in the league, and Boucher is far too inconsistent to be a starting-caliber center (or even a backup center in Charlotte). The Hornets should save their money for some better pieces.