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Old Faces, Old Places: Greivis Vasquez, James Johnson Sign With Toronto Raptors

Apr 27, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez (21) reacts against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half in game four of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. The Raptors defeated the Nets 87-79. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Players: Greivis Vasquez, James Johnson

The Team: Toronto Raptors

The Contract: 2 years, $13 million for Vasquez; 2 years, $5 million for Johnson

How does it affect the cap situation?

According to Sham Sports, the Raptors have $79.256 in salary and cap holds. However, this figure needs some adjusting, as not everything is completely up to date. After some quick Excel math, as seen in the screenshot below, I’m estimating Toronto’s salary and cap hold figure to really be $76.263 million.

Picture 3

Vasquez will make more than his hold, and Johnson has not yet been added. Patrick Patterson, who recently got a new deal, will make less than his hold implies. With Sebastian Telfair in Oklahoma City, Nando de Colo in Russia, and Pietrus likely gone, the Raptors will still be significantly over the $63.065 million cap.

How does it affect the luxury tax?

The $76.623 million estimate is just below the $76.289 luxury tax threshold. Toronto seems to like their core, and they spent the money this offseason to prove it on Kyle Lowry, Vasquez, and Patterson. They are dangerously close to paying the tax, but with pretty much everyone already signed, I wouldn’t expect them to pass the threshold this summer.

If the Eastern Conference looks vulnerable, the Raptors could look to make a move at the deadline, even if it means going into the tax. It depends on what the trade market and whether ownership genuinely believes this team could win, but the possibility is there.

For now, they appear to be safe.

What’s next?

I wouldn’t expect anything significant for the rest of the summer. Knowing that they aren’t the most attractive free agent destination, Toronto is rolling with essentially the same group as last year.

Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are locked up for the next few seasons on reasonable deals. The next big move in Toronto will probably involve Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson, as extension talks will likely start with both players next summer.

Mark Evans