The Toronto Raptors are signing four G League players to short-term contracts.
With Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr., Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa, Dalano Banton and Malachi Flynn all in the league’s health-and-safety protocols, the Raptors are adding Brandon Goodwin, Juwan Morgan, Nik Stauskas and Tremont Waters on 10-day contracts.
This is supposed to be an article I write in August, when the team is filling out their training camp roster with Exhibit 10 contracts who will represent the core of the Raptors 905 roster. It’s not supposed to be an article written here in December, as NBA teams scramble to add replacement players amid a major COVID outbreak around the league. But with over 100 players entering the league’s health and safety protocols in December, the league has allowed for teams to add players.
This is done via a hardship exemption, where teams can give out 10-day contracts that will not count against the salary cap or their luxury tax situations. Normally, these exemptions require teams to be a certain degree of short-handed for multiple games. As the NBA looks to insure against more game postponements, they’ve expedited that process, and subsequently mandated it – the Raptors also have an open regular roster spot they can use if they so choose, however, with their proximity to the luxury tax line, they will likely use the exemption route for as long as allowable.
The new rules, which will be in effect until at least Jan. 19, allow a team to add one hardship exemption player for each player who enters health and safety protocols. That “allowance” becomes mandatory if a team has multiple players in those protocols. Under the temporary roster rules, the Raptors, with seven players in protocols, have to add six players (two of which are yet to be announced yet) and can add up to seven.
Players are signed for 10 days at a time, earning the prorated minimum salary for their level of experience (that can range from $53,176 to $151,822 over the 10 days). The Raptors can wait until Wednesday to sign them officially, which would keep them on the roster through their Dec. 31 game.
In addition, two-way players Justin Champagnie and David Johnson are no longer capped at 50 games active on the NBA roster. That’s relevant for Champagnie, who has been on the fringe of the NBA rotation but is now out with a non-COVID illness, while it’s less relevant to Johnson, who is dealing with a calf injury bad enough to put him in a walking boot recently. Raptors 905 are not currently in action, as they pulled out of the G League Showcase in Las Vegas this week due to health and safety protocols.
Goodwin, Morgan and Waters are all players who might be familiar to NBA fans, or the G League die-hards, while Stauskas is, of course, a well-known Canadian player. What follows is a little bit about what each player could bring to the table these next 10 days. At least two more players could be added ahead of tip-off Wednesday.