Thad Young likely back, Mo Bamba has interest
The Toronto Raptors can finally start to kick free agency into high gear now that the NBA Draft is officially in the past. Be it trying to retain veterans like Chris Boucher and Thad Young or trying to go outside the organization to find standouts like Mo Bamba, Masai Ujiri will have his hands full.
The Raptors are likely trying to find some way to make sure either Boucher or Young is back in red and black next year. Considering the value Young brought as a defensive mastermind, connecter, and occasional scorer, it would behoove Toronto to lock him up for the foreseeable future.
The Raptors must be careful about overspending, as they could lose out on some of their favorite targets from other teams in the process. Luckily for Toronto, the latest intel suggests that some of their top internal and external targets could be on their way up north.
Per Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Raptors and Young are expected to agree on a two-year contract worth around $10 million. Fischer also mentioned that Bamba is likely to garner interest from both the Raptors and Chicago Bulls. A major frontcourt renovation could be underway in Toronto.
Will the Raptors sign Thad Young and Mo Bamba?
Young averaged 6.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game with the Raptors. If these reports are to be believed, it seems like Young must have fallen in love with whatever the Raptors were using him from a schematic point of view this season.
Young’s value extended beyond the box score. A ferocious defender who can move all around the floor, Young doubled as both a bench switchblade and veteran glue guy that helped mentor young forwards like Scottie Barnes and Precious Achiuwa. Even if Boucher walks, securing Young would make for a successful offseason.
Bamba averaged 10.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game in what became his breakout season last year. However, the addition of Paolo Banchero with the No. 1 overall pick and the continued development of Wendell Carter Jr. will likely have the former Texas Longhorn looking for a new home.
If 2022 second-round draft pick Christian Koloko is a bit rawer than was previously indicated, Bamba should be able to slide into the rotation and eat up time as a starting center or key reserve. The combination of Bamba and Young in the frontcourt will finally take some of the pressure off of an overworked starting five.