While the Toronto Raptors have some young, talented players they’d like to keep on their roster, after finishing 11th in the Eastern Conference, they should not stand pat this offseason.
There are several veteran players on their roster that could be moved to help improve the club going forward.
Here are the five most expendable players on the Toronto Raptors roster.
Johnson played his best season in the NBA last year, but it is clear he is still not good enough to be a starting small forward in the Atlantic division. With Paul Pierce, Andre Iguodala and Carmelo Anthony in the division, the Raptors put themselves at a serious disadvantage every time they put Johnson in the starting five. However, he is still a young, talented player, and some team should be interested in trading for him.
With Andrea Bargnani, Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson ahead of Davis on the depth chart, the Raptors should consider trading their young big in a package for a small forward or point guard. Davis is not going to get the opportunity to play a lot in Toronto, so the Raptors should move Davis when his value is still high. It is unlikely that he turns into a good NBA starter, so the Raptors would not regret trading him away to help improve their starting unit.
If the Raptors decide they want to keep Davis, it may mean the end for Amir Johnson in Toronto. Johnson is scheduled to make almost $20 million over the next three years. While he is a quality backup, he is slightly overpaid. The Raptors would be better to trade Johnson to a team desperate for a big man and sign a cheaper player like Omer Asik in free agency.
While Calderon was one of the Raptors' best offensive players last season, his expiring contract is one of the biggest assets Toronto can offer in a trade. Calderon is scheduled to make over $10 million next year, so teams who are looking for cap relief after the 2012-13 season will be interested in him. The Raptors are desperate for a starting small forward and could acquire one if they are willing to part with Calderon.
While Kleiza is a quality role player, he is paid like a sixth man. Kleiza is due $4.6 million a year over the next two seasons, and if the Raptors acquire a starting small forward, he will have a hard time finding play time. While he is still talented, it is illogical to be paying a player almost $5 million to be the third small forward on the depth chart. If any team is interested in Kleiza’s services, Toronto should definitely be listening.