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Raptors’ best and worst contract extensions

Raptors’ best and worst contract extensions

Posted by PanamericanWorld on August 20, 2015

Jonas Valanciunas is reportedly in line for a lucrative contract extension from the Raptors.

With strict parameters of only players who have signed second contracts with the team — not free agent acquisitions — here are three of the best and three of the worst in franchise history (all figures in U.S. dollars).


DeMar DeRozan: Critics climbed all over then-general manager Bryan Colangelo for bidding against himself when he signed the swingman to an early four-year, $38-million extension in 2012 off his rookie deal.

All DeRozan’s done then is become the team’s most consistent player, an Eastern Conference all-star and the terms of the contract constitute a true bargain.

It’s not likely to be the same case for Masai Ujiri next summer when DeRozan can become a free agent and will be looking at something in the starting range of $17 million a season.

Amir Johnson: It wasn’t so much the money as it was the years that rankled some when Johnson, still very much unproven as a consistent player, signed a five-year, $30-million deal to remain in Toronto in 2010.

But for the duration of that contract, he became not only one of the most popular players in franchise history for his connection with the fans and the city, but a highly-valuable member of playoff-bound teams.

He played through various ankle injuries as one of the team’s best defenders and frontcourt anchor — his play covered up deficiencies of teammates.

Jose Calderon: He arrived from Spain in 2005 thanks to then-general manager Rob Babcock as a stranger in a strange land on a ridiculously small contract of three years and less than $7 million.

Ridiculously small because he turned into one of the best shooters in franchise history, putting together a dream season of 50 per cent shooting from the field, 40 per cent from three-point range and 90 per cent from the foul line in 2007-08, one of handful of NBAers to ever post those numbers.

His reward was another eminently affordable deal, his extension was five years, $45 million.


Michael (Yogi) Stewart: It is the benchmark for all the bad contracts doled out by the Raptors over the years.

The money doesn’t seem scary bad in today’s market but giving the backup big man a six-year, $24 million extension in 1999 remains one of the worst management decisions of all time.

Yes, he was originally signed off a good rookie year in Sacramento to a one-year, $1 million deal that was probably too low but the second deal he got to basically sit at the end of the bench was awful.

Rafer Alston: It’s a bit of a stretch to say he re-signed here but the one-time New York playground legend did turn a rest-of-the-year minimum value deal in 2003-04 into a six-year, $30-millon contract in July, 2004.

That was an awful lot of money and an astonishing term for a player whose personality could be a bit disruptive.

Of course, he didn’t last the term of the deal and was out of the NBA before the original Toronto contract expired.

Andrea Bargnani: His greatest sin might have been getting drafted first overall in a relatively weak draft year and the expectations it placed on the 7-foot shooter.

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