It’s been made pretty clear that the Toronto Raptors are attempting to trade forward John Salmons. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Raptors were trying to move him and the No. 37 pick to the Memphis Grizzlies in a deal that would send them back Tayshaun Prince and the No. 22 pick in tonight’s draft.
Update to potential Raps/Grizz trade: Deal would more likely send No. 37 with John Salmons to Memphis for Tayshaun Prince and No. 22 pick
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 26, 2014
But that deal has yet to happen. And if any other Salmons-related trade idea doesn’t come to fruition, Toronto will waive him, according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.
If Raptors cannot find a taker for John Salmons by June 30 deadline, he will be waived. Raptors would pay $1 million, save $6 million.
— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) June 25, 2014
With only $1 million of the forward’s $7 million salary next season guaranteed, a release is a no-brainer move if no trade occurs.
While Salmons has the benefit of being a well-respected veteran, his actual basketball ability at age 34 is lacking. He averaged just five points (36.8 percent shooting from the floor), 2.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in the 60 games he appeared in with the Raptors last season.
Toronto will likely have to draft or add another small forward via free agency to find a player that will make up the 20-plus minutes Salmons gave the Raptors on a nightly basis, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to find someone that can at least duplicate his production for a much cheaper salary.
Salmons has spent 12 years in the NBA, playing for five teams and posting career averages of 9.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists.