The Toronto Raptors roster remake continues.
The team will be losing both starting shooting guard Anthony Parker who is expected to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers according to league sources, while Shawn Marion will be signed and traded to the Dallas Mavericks in a deal that also includes Kris Humphries.
The moves clear the path for the Raptors to sign Hedo Turkoglu as a free agent later today.
But a late development could pay significant dividend for the Raptors. Rather than sign Turkoglu outright Toronto will see him join the club by way of a sign-and-trade with the Orlando Magic that means Toronto will retain the ability to use the mid-level exception which gives them an additional $5.8-million (U.S.) to sign players this off-season, which could go a long way toward shoring up their depleted bench.
Among the players the Raptors are expected to target with their new-found money are Carlos Delfino, a restricted free agent who played in Russia last season and can play all three perimeter positions and the Denver Nuggets Linas Kleiza, a small forward. But with Humphries gone the Raptors will also be shopping for some additional frontcourt depth as well.
The long-rumoured trade of Marion to Dallas allows the Mavericks to sign the versatile forward to a five-year, $39-million deal - a deal $5-million richer than he was likely to get in Toronto or elsewhere as Dallas loads up to compete in the Western Conference.
In return the Raptors receive Antoine Wright and Devean George, who provide Toronto with some experienced depth on the perimeter. As well the Raptors potentially save some money on the deal because Wright and George are both on the last year of their contracts while Humphries has another year after this one.
The Memphis Grizzlies facilitated the deal by taking on the contract of Jerry Stackhouse along with a reported $3-million cash. He's heading into the last year of his contract, but only $2-million of the $7-million he's owed is guaranteed. Quincy Douby, who played briefly for Toronto at the end of last season, also heads to Memphis.
Meanwhile the Raptors have arranged for Turkoglu to be signed-and-traded by the Magic in exchange for a $7-million trade exception that could prove valuable as they try to repeat their trip to the NBA Finals.
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