Toronto Raptors: Looming Roster Decisions Will Shed Light On Summer Plans

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Dec 13, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez (21), forward Patrick Patterson (54) and guard Terrence Ross (31) stand on the court against the Philadelphia 76ers at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors won 108-100. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

INTRODUCTION

The top offseason priorities for the Toronto Raptors cannot be addressed until the free agency period begins in July. That is when all signs point to general manager Masai Ujiri making an attempt to re-sign Kyle Lowry, Patrick Patterson, and Greivis Vasquez.

For a couple of reasons, this is something that I hope Ujiri is able to accomplish.

First of all, it would ensure his ability to field the same core group of players in 2014-15, as DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross, Jonas Valanciunas, and Amir Johnson are already under contract.

Secondly, it is with this group of players that I believe the Raptors stand the best chance of building upon their 48-win season, Atlantic Division title, and an exciting playoff run.

Leading up to the draft and free agency, Ujiri has some decisions to make that could result in creating both financial flexibility and roster spots for next season.

Since the assumption is that he wants to bring back Lowry, Patterson, and Vasquez, my feeling is that the direction that Ujiri goes in this month will start to reveal how he plans to fill out the roster around his core.

At the same time, the options available to him could free up some room to sign or acquire a significant piece if everything doesn’t go according to plan.

So, exactly what decisions am I referring to?

Here is a look at three players who could be cut loose before the end of June at very little cost to the Raptors.

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Tags: Dwight Buycks John Salmons Toronto Raptors Tyler Hansbrough